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Full text of "It S A Far Cry"

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IT'S A FAR "CRY 




THE AUTHOR 
From a Painting by William Steen 



TT'Q A 
1 1 o i\ 





BY 



ROBERT WATSON WINSTON 




NEW YORK 
HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY 



iCANAD.A, Q^FQ:p> 'UNIVERSITY 
:*! *':.:-'* * 



PRESS 



COPYRIGHT, IQ37, 

BY 
HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY, INC. 



PRINTED IN THE 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 



CONTENTS 
BOOK ONE: DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE 



CHAPTER 



PAGE 



I. OUR REFUGEE PLANTATION 3 

II. GENTLE FOLK 1S 

HI. "GOOD MORNING TO THE KING OF THE KU 

KLUX" 25 

IV. WINDSOR CASTLE ......... 34 

V. THE BERSERKS OF BERTIE 46 

VI. OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOOL 59 

VII. GIVE THE HEATHEN A CHANCE 75 

VIII. UNDER THE DAVIE POPLAR 88 

DC. DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE 100 

X. LAW A JEALOUS MISTRESS Ill 

BOOK TWO: ROOT HOG OR DIE 

XI. "WELL, LAWYER, YOU'VE LOST YOUR CLIENTS" 121 

XII. A CONVENIENT NEGRO WOMAN 138 

Xm. PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY ..... 153 

XIV. WALTER PAGE AMUSES THE BRIGADIERS ... 169 

XV. "HOLD ON, BOYS, DON'T HANG THE BRUTE!" . 181 

XVI. "I CAN'T VOTE FOR THAT RASCAL!" .... 195 

XVII. "NOR, NOTHIN* WORTH RELATING ONLY THE 

CROWD'S HUNG THAT NIGGER" .... 209 

XVIII. GAUDIUM CERTAMINIS 223 

XIX. BEN AND LUCY 237 

XX. "GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" ... 252 

v 



vi CONTENTS 

BOOK THREE: BEAUTY FOR ASHES 

CHAPTER PAGE 

XXI. NEW PASTURES GREEN 273 

XXH. SWITCHING FROM LAW TO LITERATURE . . 287 

XXIII. "HAVE YOU NO IDEALS?" 299 

XXIV. A FRESHMAN AGAIN AT SIXTY 312 

XXV. LEND ME A QUARTER 326 

XXVI. WHO SHALL BELL THE CAT! 339 

XXVII. RECONCILIATION 350 

XXVIH. OVERHEAD THE STARS 362 

SOME NOTES TO CHAPTER XXVI 375 



ILLUSTRATIONS 
The Author Frontispiece 

FACING PAGE 

Aunt Harriet 10 

Lieutenant Colonel Byrd 16 

Winston of Bertie; Shepherd, His Jester; and Lucy, His 
Faithful Slave 54 

Chapel Hill The Well, the South Building and the Old 
West Building 88 

Political Prophets: William Jennings Bryan, Julian S. Carr, 
Josephus Daniels and Walter Clark 174 

Class Cup Winner and the Hinton James of the Post-bellum 
University 200 

Empire Builders I: Washington Duke, James B. Duke, 
H. C. Branson and Seaman Knapp . . . . .224 

Duke Universityand the Judges Who Saved Trinity Col- 
lege, from Which It Developed 234 

Empire Builders II: Walter Hines Page, Charles B. Ay- 
cock, Edwin A. Alderman and David Coker . . .252 

The Church Militant Bishop Cheshire, the Author's Wife 
and Sister, and Julia with Her Children . . . .266 

The Philosopher and His Pupil . . . . . .314 

Brother George and Brother Pat 328 

Bill McDade and His Friend 334 

An American Enigma 34$ 

It's a Far Cry: Avoca and Windsor Castle . . . . 372 



BOOK ONE 
DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE 



CHAPTER I 
OUR REFUGEE PLANTATION 

ONE afternoon, in the spring of 1865, two small boys might 
have been seen sitting on the stile, halfway between the Great 
House and the slave quarters. The older of the two, named 
Lundsay, was black and a slave, the other was the writer of 
these lines, Lundsay's young master, his very young master 
in fact, being then but four years and eight months old. At 
the little railroad station called Durham less than fifty miles 
away General Johnston had just surrendered to General 
Sherman and the Confederacy had collapsed. 

For several days we had been expecting the triumphant 
Union troops to march through Springfield, our refugee plan- 
tation, on their way north. Expectation was at tip-toe. Ever 
since Sherman's easy victory over Johnston, at the last pitched 
battle of the war, known as Bentonville, the wildest rumors 
had been afloat. The grapevine telegraph told of a mighty 
Yankee host, in bright uniforms, with brass buttons and 
pockets bulging with real money. Finally the eventful day 
had arrived. In the distance, Lundsay and I could catch the 
rub-a-dub-dub of the kettledrum and the notes of the fife. 

Nearer came the sound of marching feet and soon our ten- 
acre grove was alive with Blue Coats. Almost in a moment 
horses were unhitched and fed, tents, white and circus-like, 
arose and a little city sprang up. Soldiers by the hundreds 
began to wander through the slave quarters and around our 
dwelling. But neither Lundsay nor I seemed to be alarmed, 
we were much too young and too busy with the sight of huge 
caissons and muskets with bayonets fixed, and knapsacks and 
canteens and jolly, rollicking soldiers wearing the queerest 

3 



4 OUR REFUGEE PLANTATION 

looking flat-topped caps, whose brims stretched far out to 
the front. Presently a group of soldiers discovered us and 
came our way. 

"Hello, little Johnny Reb," said one of them, chucking me 
under the chin. "Hasn't your pap got any applejack hid 
around here?" 

"Yes, sirree," I replied, confusing apple brandy with apple 
pies, "we had some fine flapjacks for dinner." 

After a short rest the army marched away, having done no 
damage to persons or property. In fact, so far as I have been 
able to discover, Union troops in North Carolina usually re- 
spected property, though near Fayetteville, where resistance 
had been offered, food was destroyed, livestock carried off 
and considerable pillaging occurred. Perhaps one reason our 
home was unmolested was that General Frank Blair, com- 
manding this Division, and Father had been students at the 
same University and the General partook of our hospitality 
and placed a guard about our premises. Father had just come 
in from Raleigh, at which place, and in Richmond, he had 
been occupied as a judge of the Court of Claims, a court con- 
sisting of three lawyers highly regarded for conservatism and 
soundness of judgment. 

But, I am about to omit an incident which happened the 
day before the army moved North, it being just the kind of 
thing that would linger in the mind of a child. Mother's only 
brother, Lieutenant Colonel of the i ith North Carolina Regi- 
ment, had been killed, the August previous, leading his men 
to recapture the railroad at Reams' Station, near Petersburg. 
Now when Uncle went to the front he left behind a brood 
of chickens, a game pullet in the number. This pullet had 
grown up and was sitting under a sweet betsy bush, just in- 
side the garden gate, and getting ready to hatch. A soldier, 
discovering the hen and concluding she was laying, reached 
down for a fresh egg and had his eye badly pecked. 

From these incidents it might be inferred that I possessed 



OUR REFUGEE PLANTATION S 

an unusual memory, but this was not the case. Nor was I 
forward In acquiring knowledge. 1 was backward, and not 
at all in the class with the precocious ones. Mozart, for ex- 
ample, an art critic at three, we are told; John Stuart Mill, at 
the same age, beginning the study of Greek; Sir Walter Scott, 
at four remembering his grandfather's funeral; and a famous 
Catholic priest assuring us he could recall the day he was 
weaned. At all events these early memories made a lasting 
impression upon me. And naturally so. 

The war was our undoing, our alpha and omega. War 
swept away Father's estate, including nearly a hundred 
slaves; enraged a proud people, depriving them of the power 
to think dispassionately, and converted the South into a sec- 
ond Ireland. Though Father had opposed war and stood for 
the Whig ticket, headed by John Bell and Edward Everett, 
on a platform whose only plank was the Union and the Con- 
stitution, when war came and he must choose, he went with 
his neighbors and his state, and went whole-heartedly. And 
so did those of his blood. 

My oldest brother, at the age of seventeen, ran away from 
the University and joined the army. Father was in the judi- 
cial department at Richmond. His nephew was a gallant 
young lieutenant. Company C of the nth North Carolina 
Regiment, was composed largely of our kinspeople. Com- 
manded by Mother's brother, Colonel Byrd, it was cut to 
pieces on the first day at Gettysburg, 82 men out of 86 being 
Mlled or wounded. 

Psychology may overestimate the influence of early im- 
pressions upon the mind of the young, but with me such in- 
fluences could not well be overstated. An infant at the 
breast, all during the war I sucked in the sorrows which over- 
whelmed my tender-hearted mother. Many a time she has 
said to me, "My child, in those trying days, when the lists of 
the dead were published, I was so overcome I must have shed 
bushels of tears in your puzzled, little, upturned face." 



6 OUR REFUGEE PLANTATION 

As I have said, her brother, when scarcely twenty-five, 
was killed defending Petersburg. In a pine box his body 
came by rail to Kittrell Springs, our nearest railroad station, 
and thence by cart to Springfield. In St. Thomas' church- 
yard at Windsor, more than a hundred miles away, he was 
laid to rest, the last long journey over bad roads having been 
made by Washington, our carriage driver, in a plain carry-all 
with no one but himself and his dead young master. 

I do not remember my uncle except as he was reflected in 
the quiet, self-effacing life of Mother. Yet I seem to see him 
now, the idol of his county, graceful, well groomed, full of 
fun, a student at Brown University and then prosecuting at- 
torney of his district. Once during the war he came home 
on sick leave and was nursed by Mother, a devout church- 
woman. "Frank," she softly said, "you are quite sick and 
don't you wish me to read a chapter in the Bible?" "Cer- 
tainly, Sister," he replied. "I would like for you to turn over 
to the fifteenth of Judges and read the entire chapter." 
Mother, delighted to know that her young soldier-brother 
could remember anything from the Good Book, opened and 
was horrified when she saw that it was the ridiculous account 
of Samson and the foxes! "And Samson went and caught 
three hundred foxes and bound them, tail to tail, and put a 
firebrand in the midst between two tails and set the firebrand 
on fire and let them go into the standing corn of the Philis- 
tines and burned up both the shocks and the standing corn, 
with the vineyards and olives." 

We had brought along to our refugee home only about 
half of our slaves; the rest were left down the country, where 
we had lived before the enemy's gunboats came up the Albe- 
marle Sound and ran us out. Among the slaves who came 
with us to Springfield were two natural-born fun makers, 
Buck and Slade, Buck making the banjo ring and Slade click- 
ing off the clog dances. These young fellows were unable 
to resist the music of Sherman's drum corps and off they 



OUR REFUGEE PLANTATION 7 

wandered with the Union army, soon returning, however, to 
their old haunts. Most of the colored people, indeed, all dur- 
ing the war, were true to us. Even after Lincoln's proclama- 
tion of September, 1862, which changed the policy* of the 
Government and made it a war of liberation, a strange situa- 
tion was presented. Our servants, as we called them, went 
forward tilling the soil and raising provisions to feed the Con- 
federate army and rivet their own chains. Indeed, I think I 
am safe in saying that the word Yankee was as distasteful to 
Lundsay and to Aunt Harriet, my old nurse, and to Susan, 
my young nurse, as it was to me. This phenomenon I can- 
not explain except on the theory that our black people were 
a kind-hearted, contented race and well treated. Moreover 
they were mere children and did not understand what free- 
dom meant. And yet they soon learned. 

Shortly after Buck returned from the North my older 
brother met him one day and asked how he liked the 
Yankees. Buck agreed that the South, and not the North, 
was the place for the Negro. "But won't you go further?" 
Brother asked. "Weren't you really happier and better off as 
a slave?" Buck, looking very solemn and, slapping himself 
on the leg, broke out into a loud guffaw. "Well now, boss 
(not young master), hit's dis way, freedom's powerful 
sweet!" 

It is not at all strange that the new freedom often went to 
the head of the newly liberated slave and made him pompous 
and ridiculous. This crudity however was confined to the 
corn-field darkies, quality negroes being above such conduct. 
The case of Slade's wife, a countrified darky, is in point. 
When set free, she became so much of a lady, and so useless 
in the kitchen, that Mother let her go. Next day Father, 
meeting Slade, inquired what was the matter. Slade pursed 
his big thick lips, scratched his woolly head and delivered 
himself after this fashion, "Well, boss, as nigh as I kin make 
it out the ladies they just can't agree!" 



8 OUR REFUGEE PLANTATION 

IE addition to Springfield Father owned two plantations 
down on the coast. He also ran a fishery, called Terrapin 
Point. But he was essentially a lawyer, his head being clear 
and his opinion much valued. Therefore, in the fall of '65, 
when North Carolina accepted President Johnson's invitation 
to call a Constitutional Convention, Father was elected a 
member from Franklin County. Though not a citizen of the 
county he was demanded in the prevailing crisis. The Con- 
vention met in October and was a notable one, doing its work 
with speed and thoroughness. None but conservatives had 
been chosen, these consisting of Union Whigs and such 
Democrats as had opposed secession prior to Lincoln's call 
for troops. In that loyal convention original secessionists 
would have been as lonesome as a sinner within the gates of 
the City Beautiful. 

When the time came to repeal the Ordinance of Secession 
the convention re-affirmed the old Whig doctrine that there 
could be no such thing as legal secession. It was resolved 
that the ordinance was not only null and void but always had 
been null and void. In the light of this event, it seems clear 
that North Carolina was as loyal to the Union in October, 
1865, as it had been before the war. And I fully concur with 
Dr. J. G. DeRoulhac Hamilton, the North Carolina historian, 
that but for the wickedness of certain Northern radicals who 
proceeded to insult and bully the South, the old Democratic 
party would have been buried beyond resurrection. 

Soon after the convention adjourned Father came down to 
Springfield and made arrangements to move back east. And 
so we left our refugee plantation and returned to our old 
home, called Windsor Castle ever since Indian days, situated 
at Windsor, the seat of Bertie County, whose golden sand- 
cliffs are washed by the waves of Albemarle Sound. Scotch 
Hall and Avoca, the homes of our kinspeople, overlook the 
Sound and remind one of Locksley Hall. When, indeed, I 
used to stand on the noble bluff at the Hall, over against 



OUR REFUGEE PLANTATION 9 

beautiful Edenton Bay, I could fancy I heard the curlews <SalL 

Though at this time I had reached only my sixth year I 
was quite mature. I doubt not that the subconscious impres- 
sions of infancy later shaped my thoughts and made me what 
I am today. Not that my childhood was unhappy, nor that 
I developed that subtle, elusive something, called a complex 
Though I was shrinking and diffident, I was full-blooded, I 
found pleasure in our home life and in children's story books, 
in out-of-door sports and, particularly, in my dog Tiger, 
my inseparable companion. He was half bull, half cur, his 
coat a deep red. In later years Tiger followed the steamer 
which bore me away to school, running and yelping, miles 
and miles, through the dank cypress brakes and the tangled 
juniper pocosins fringing the banks of the Cashle. 

Moreover, I must have been an unconscionable young 
liar. But a cheerful one! At Springfield, one summer day, 
Susan took me for an outing to the spring some half mile 
awayover the hills, and beyond the barns and the stables* 
In the cool pebbly branch I waded and gathered the shiny 
particles of yellow quartz, which geologists call iron pyrites 
or fool's gold. Quite engrossed in our pleasure of damming 
up the branch and making pine-bark boats, my nurse and I 
completely lost ourselves, and, worse still, we lost the silver 
cup which I had inherited from my little brother, who had 
recently died of scarlet fever. Greatly alarmed, Sue and I 
put our heads together to explain the mishap. Finally we 
hit upon it. We would declare that an old cow had chased 
us and swallowed the cup! 

"Mamma," I breathlessly exclaimed, as I entered Mother's 
room, "what you reckon, ole cow swallowed our cup!" 

"She sho did, mistis," Sue solemnly asseverated. "I seen 
her when she done it!" 

Mother doted on a sprightly, saucy child and I escaped the 
rod. But my next adventure into the realm of fancy did not 
end quite so happily. We were at Dr. Blacknall's Hotel, at 



10 OUR REFUGEE PLANTATION 

Kittrell Springs, just after the war. The night was dark. 
Our apartments were at one end of the long building, and 
our friends', the Engelhards and Fremonts, at the other, 
whither Mother and I had gone to pay a call. At length 
Mother bade me run down and see how niy baby sister was 
coming on. Bravely I toddled out of the cozy room and 
onto the dark veranda my destination fully five hundred 
awesome feet away. And then my heart failed me. There 
arose visions of dead soldiers, transported in gruesome boxes 
over the railroad, which ran in front of our hotel. I could 
go no further. On the door-sill I crouched and concocted a 
whopping fib. 

I reported that baby Alice was sound asleep in her crib, 
Aunt Harriet sitting in the door knitting. Susan had made 
up her pallet and was saying her prayers. Not a detail did I 
omit. And this yarn I had scarcely related when in walked 
Aunt Harriet with the squalling baby in her arms! "Mistis," 
she granted, "suppin* matter dis chile. Gin her catnip tea, 
en rocked her, en she jist won't go to sleep!" Despite the 
appeals of dozens of refugees I was duly taken in hand and 
next day my legs were switched with china rodseach single 
rod as small as a straw but, woven together into a bundle, 
how effective until I promised never again to indulge in my 
favorite pastime. 

Dear old Aunt Harriet, black, portly and faithful! She 
soon died. Her last will and testament was discovered in her 
basket. It gave me all she had; it provided that her earthly 
possessions, or plunder as she called them, consisting of a 
feather bed and a few simple household articles, should go to 
her young Master Robert and his heirs forever. 

But, dear as Aunt Harriet was to us, I think Lucy, who 
came to Father from his father, was even closer. She was 
Mother's companion and friend, always sleeping on a pallet 
in the room with her when Father was away. And as for us 
little ones, Lucy was our all-in-all. She mended our clothes, 




AUNT HARRIET 



OUR REFUGEE PLANTATION 11 

knit our socks, held our noses when we took castor oil, 
tucked us in our cribs when we went to bed, and occasion- 
ally heard our prayers, though it must be confessed that this 
ceremony sometimes lacked spirituality and took on a comi- 
cal and ridiculous aspect. 

"Come here, Marse George," Lucy would say. 'You 
knows you ain't gwine to bed widout sayin* your prayers." 

When^the little chap had toddled over and knelt down aed 
put his tired curly head in the lap of his faithful slave-com- 
panion, she would quietly place a small China vessel between 
his legs and begin to line out the familiar words, "Now I lay 
me down to sleep." 

George would repeat, "Now I lay me down to sleep." 

"I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep." 

"I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep." 

At this point Lucy, peeping down, and neither seeing nor 
hearing any evidence of activity in that quarter, would blurt 
out, "Now, Marse George, you knows you ain't a prayin'!" 

These little stories may appear trivial, but are they not 
more eloquent than words of the tender relationship of mas- 
ter and mistress to their houseservants? These faithful crea- 
tures did indeed move in and out amongst us like shadows. 
We were not aware of them. In their presence, we dressed 
and undressed. To them we unbosomed ourselves more 
freely than to our own parents. They were but overgrown 
children, sympathetic, full of emotion, very close to God, 
and with immense capacity for affection. 

But not all slaves were like Lucy and Aunt Harriet. Occa- 
sionally an educated negro would be brought in from Ja- 
maica, or San Domingo, and violence would follow. Such a 
turbulent character was Nat Turner, instigator of the 
Southampton insurrection which took place in 1831, only a 
few miles from the little village in which Mother lived when 
a girl. Nat was a native of San Domingo, a preacher and the 
reputed son of Toussaint L'Ouverture, whom Wendell Phil- 



12 OUR REFUGEE PLANTATION 

lips immortalized in his Philippic against the state of Vir- 
ginia. This fierce negro, Nat Turner, had been trusted and 
respected by his master and took advantage of his position to 
organize and arm a squad of slaves. One day in August, 
when the whites had gone to a distant revival meeting, Nat 
and his band rose and murdered seventy-five women, chil- 
dren and aged men. As he would cut an infant's throat he 
would say, "Nits make lice." This matter created consterna- 
tion throughout the South and caused harsh laws to be en- 
acted regulating slavery. 

Bertie County was horror-struck. The jail was filled with 
the slaves who were considered turbulent or even suspicious. 
Now the jail building was on Queen Street and directly in 
my path to the schoolhouse, and when I passed along in front 
of it I would shudder as I recalled Mother's account of the 
insurrection. A dozen kegs of powder, with fuses attached, 
had been placed under the jail. A resolute white man had 
stood at eaclj fuse with a torch in hand, and a relay of horse- 
men had covered the seventy-two miles from Southampton 
to Windsor. The first messenger had been directed to race 
with all speed to the second, and the second to the third. 
The last horseman as he dashed into town was to fire a gun. 
At this signal a hundred slaves were to be blown to atoms. 

Fortunately, the insurrection did not spread in so large a 
way but a dreadful situation developed at the home of Moth- 
er's father. It seems that a desperate slave, a carpenter, 
plotted, with two or three others, to murder his master. It 
was arranged that the master should be called to the door of 
his dwelling, at nine o'clock on a certain, night, and cut to 
pieces with a broadax. Now the leader in this plot was the 
husband of a favorite housemaid. One evening she overheard 
the plan to murder her master. So distracted was she by the 
thought that if she spoke out her husband would be hanged 
and if she remained silent she would lose her best friend, that 
she knew not which way to turn. Finally, the poor girl pur- 



OUR REFUGEE PLANTATION 13 

sned the course of most slaves and stood by her master. On 
the appointed night the slaves, armed with axes, appeared at 
the back door and knocked. The door was opened, but not 
by the master. The sheriff and his posse burst upon the band 
and captured them, Soon thereafter all were executed. 

At this time Mother was an infant, yet thoughts of those 
servile insurrections never wholly were absent from her mind. 
Father, on the contrary, had no scruples about owning slaves. 
The institution of slavery was taken as a matter of course, as 
his people for a hundred years had been slave owners. But 
there were certain rules as to the treatment of the colored 
folks which a real Southerner would not violate. Unless 
compelled to do so, no gentleman would sell a slave, and as to 
the fellow, known as a slave-trader, he was beneath con- 
tempt, he could not enter the front door of a real Southern 
home. 

Father's propensity to acquire slaves amused Mother, and 
perplexed her. One day he drove up from &fartin court, 
and, as he alighted, was followed by a string of the most 
barbarous-looking creatures imaginable, bred in the swamps 
of the Roanoke River. These Robinson negroes had been 
sold in a lump, and Father was the highest bidder. When 
Mother beheld them she was dumbfounded. "Why, Mr. 
Winston," she exclaimed, "what on earth are we going to do 
With this gang of mud turtles?" "Ah, Mammy," he replied, 
"you'll soon civilize them!" And he knew what he was talk- 
ing about. In a short time contact with refined whites and 
with decent colored people worked wonders. It was not long 
before one of the little Robinson girls, Betty by name, had 
on a white apron and a jaunty cap, and was waiting on the 
table and keeping off the flies with a bunch of peacock 
feathers. 

While this youthful little savage was going through the 
process of civilization, an amusing incident occurred. One 
day Mother gave her a pretty speckled jacket. The child, 



14 OUR REFUGEE PLANTATION 

overcome with her new possession, and reverting to a state 
of nature, darted off without a word of thanks. "Come back, 
yon little sinner," called Mother. "Where are your man- 
ners?' 9 The wild creature halted and, innocently, chirped, 
"In Mammy's chist!" Mother could never tell exactly what 
Betty meant but imagined she thought manners some sort of 
garment! 



CHAPTER II 
GENTLE FOLK 

MOTHER was a quiet little body. But when trouble came 
she would meet it half-way a quality acquired in her bring- 
ing up. Though her father died young, leaving a small estate, 
she was the pet of brothers and uncles and a favorite of 
wealthy kinspeople in whose homes she witnessed many a 
scene that smacked of courts. At Bonava Plantation, down 
the Sound, a quaint, old custom prevailed. Breakfast would 
be served at eleven and, as the young ladies of the household, 
with perhaps a half dozen guests, sauntered down the broad 
stairway, each one would be greeted with a cheerful, "Good 
morning, my beautiful mistress," from the maidservants, 
grouped together and clad in white caps and scalloped 
aprons a homage, like knight-service in chivalry, intended 
to stimulate pride and make the young Miss feel a sense of 
superiority. 

Sometimes Mother would be one of the beautiful mistresses 
thus honored, and it amused her to tell about it. One little 
pickaninny, the whites of whose eyes were in contrast to the 
blackness of her skin, was too young to handle such big 
words as, "morning" and "beautiful" and "mistress," and she 
would curtsy and grin and chirp, "Good morning my beuny 
minny." 

In outward appearance Father and Mother were quite un- 
like, he, deliberate, tall, and portly; she, small and sylph-like. 
But in the essentials they were one; liberal, imbued with a 
sense of spiritual values, and proud of family tradition. There 
was never a year in which some less prosperous relative did 

IS 



16 GENTLE FOLK 

not live with us, attending our private school or reciting to 
our private tutor. During several years, Father's favorite 
niece, Georgie, lived with us and Mother then gave her a 
neady bound book of Common Prayer. Sixty years after, 
when our family had gathered near Springfield to unveil a 
marker to Father's grandfather, Bartholomew Fuller, Cousin 
Georgie showed me the souvenir. "It is my most prized little 
treasure," she said. 

Though Mother did not even play cards or waltz, she was 
not a puritan. Full of quiet fun, she would sometimes turn 
girl, to our great delight. Raising her skirts and exhibiting a 
dainty foot, and an ankle which Beatrix Esmond might have 
envied, she would show how the negroes used to dance in the 
slave quarters, cutting the back-step and the half-around. 
Mother possessed one rare faculty, she minded her own busi- 
ness and let other people's alone. Naturally, the rich and 
strong sought her companionship and the poor and needy 
came to her for aid and comfort. Hundreds called her Aunt 
Martha or Cousin Martha. 

In youth, the village beauty, Mother might have shone in 
society, but preferred her home and kindred and friends and 
flowers. It may be age has dulled my sense of smell and yet 
I am sure no flowers today have the fragrance of Mother's. 
The pungent citrena, the absorbing cape jessamine, the over- 
whelming honeysuckle, the satisfying sweet betsy. And then 
the stately hollyhocks, and the roses Jacqueminots, yellow 
banksias, and Malmaisons the bold sweet williams, the 
snowdrops, spice pinks, bleeding hearts, and Star of Bethle- 
hems. 

Though a Confederate Chapter was organized and named 
for my uncle, Mother did not join the organization, nor did 
she associate herself with any Confederate group. But, just 
as soon as we were able, we put up a small marker over his 
grave; 




LIEUTENANT COLONEL BYRD 



GENTLE FOLK 17 

Francis Wilder Byrd 

Lieut* Colonel nth Reg. 

N.C 

Troops 

C. S. A. 

Killed at Reams' Station, Va. 

Soon after this stone was put in place I wrote my friend 
Dr. Ferebee, surgeon of the fighting-ship Oregon, and he 
sent us some cannon balls which mark the spot where my 
uncle sleeps. 

The Book of Common Prayer, I feel sure, and the dignity 
and orderliness of the Episcopal worship, made Mother a 
churchwoman. She was certainly no theologian. I doubt if 
she ever read the Thirty-nine Articles, hid in the back of the 
Prayer Book. Nor was she concerned as to whether Athana- 
sius or Ignatius wrote the Nicene creed. Religion she did 
not discuss, she lived. The aesthetics of religion satisfied her: 
sensuous music, the lofty Te Dewin, the rector's drowsy ser- 
mon, soft lights falling through stained glass windows these 
spiritual accessories bathed her soul in an atmosphere of peace 
and love. 

In time of trouble the Prayer Book and the Bible were 
Mother's standbys. Let one of our terrifying storms break, 
with sharp, forked flashes of lightning playing around the fir 
tree between the bedroom and the well-house, with angry 
claps of thunder jarring the very foundations of Windsor 
Castle, and Mother would quietly open her Bible and move 
her rocker in the corner, repeating the comforting words of 
David or Isaiah. But, I must admit, she was not wholly de- 
pendent on the Good Book to save her. Like manv another 
she believed in prayer but kept her powder dry. 

On the approach of such a storm a small black cloud 
showing up in the west, out toward our Moring Plantation, 
and deep thunder beginning to mutter she would say to me, 



18 GENTLE FOLK 

"Robert, did you hear that? Hadn't yon better water the 
lightning rods?" And off I would dart, fully as scared as 
Mother herself, to pump buckets of water and run and pour 
them around the conductors to draw the lightning from the 
house and on to the rods and into the wet ground, 

Once a big meeting was in full swing down in the Baptist 
Church, and my generous, big-hearted brother, Frank, got 
religion. There had been the usual hearty singing and shout- 
ing and "amens" and other soul-stirring accessories, which 
moved the crowd and which Brother neither resisted nor de- 
sired to resist. And all this without Mother's knowledge. 
Whereupon our highly poetical cousin, Betty Creasy, 
hastened up home to break the sad intelligence. "Oh, Aunt 
Martha/* she sighed, "what on earth do you reckon has hap- 
pened? Frank has actually got religion in the Baptist 
Church." 

"Well, Betty, Frank can't get religion too often." 

Cousin Betty was the wife of a nephew of Father's who 
had lived with us and studied law under him. When he mar- 
ried he came with his bride and they were members of the 
household until their home, down by the riverside, was com- 
pleted. And when Cousin Betty began housekeeping the 
staid old town of Windsor opened its eyes. Up-to-date, fired 
with a lofty ambition, she affected the best in everything, 
furnishings, bric-a-brac and whatnot. She put screens in her 
windows, and constructed a deep ice-house, instead of cool- 
ing milk and butter in the well, as everyone else did. She 
actually bought a full-blooded Jersey cow and had ice cream 
every Sunday. 

Reared in the stylish sea-coast town of Elizabeth City, 
Cousin Betty had that dash which smaller towns lack. And 
she was sharp as a whip, and good company. Her conversa- 
tion sparkled, despite a certain flattery and cajolery in which 
she would sometimes indulge. 

"Oh, Aunt Martha," she would lisp, touching Mother's 



GENTLE FOLK 19 

cheek, or the tip of her nose, with beautiful Bps, "I just could 
not live without you." 

And then Mother and plain-spoken Aunt Edward Webb 
would meet and compare notes on their dear in-kw, Betty 
Winston. "Yes," Aunt Edward would dryly remark. "Yes, 
Betty is a superior woman, no doubt about that. But it takes 
too many people to keep her alive!" 

Unfortunately Cousin Betty had no boys to make judges 
and governors of. And, in those days, girls didn't count. 

Mother had three Watson aunts, all good housekeepers. 
Aunt Edward who married Lorenzo Webb, banker, and 
senior warden of St. Thomas* church; Prudence, wife of 
Jonathan Tayloe, planter and beloved Baptist deacon; and 
Betsy, who married a noted Baptist minister, William Hill 
Jordan, half-brother to another famous pulpit orator, Abram 
Poindexter, one of the greatest roustificators that ever thun- 
dered from a pulpit. When Abram Poindexter died, the 
Baptist people were disconsolate. And the State Convention 
mourned his death. They issued a Macedonian cry to the 
Lord to come and hasten the kingdom. "Oh, Lord," one of 
the brethren prayed, "we are but broken reeds, shaken by 
the wind. We need a messenger from on high. O Lord, send 
down a heavenly messenger, send David, send Gabriel, and 
if they're too busy, O Lord, send Abram Poindexter! " 

Like Jacob of old, Uncle Jordan was a mighty hand to 
wrestle with the angel in prayer. From sunrise to sunset, on 
New Year's Day, he would collect his family, and all who 
were in the household, in the parlor, and pray and read the 
Bible without ceasing. The New Year must be started off 
right. 

Once Mother, accompanied by a young man named Devin, 
since father of a distinguished judge, attended a baptizing in 
Tar River, under the supervision of Uncle Jordan, such occa- 
sions drawing together thousands of people who would line 
the banks of the stream and climb the trees for a coign of 



20 GENTLE FOLK 

vantage. Uncle Jordan, holding the candidate for immersion 
by one hand and a long staff by the other, slowly waded out 
into the stream, sounding its depths and feeling his way, till 
he got in water so deep that nothing but hair and whiskers 
were visible. Then he halted and drove the staff in the bot- 
tom of the stream and took the penitent with both his hands, 
saying, "I baptize thee, my sister, in the name of the Father, 
the Son and the Holy Ghost." Suiting the action to the word 
he immersed the penitent in the flowing stream. Dripping 
and shouting, "Glory, Glory, Glory to God," the over- 
joyous woman floundered to the shore, as friends rushed in 
to embrace her, and a thousand voices sang, "Washed in the 
Blood of the Lamb" woods and hills ringing with the soul- 
stirring words, and the more overwrought declaring a dove 
had come down from heaven and lit on the penitent's head. 

On such occasions my uncle did not fail to impress all 
present with his favorite doctrine, that baptism was not for 
infants. "Our pedo-Baptist friends," he would say, standing 
in water up to his neck, and waiting for the next convert, 
"insist that infant baptism is permissible because the Bible 
does not condemn it. That is so, my friends, the Bible does 
not condemn infant baptism, but neither does it condemn the 
baptism of a mule." And down into the water would go 
another penitent. It seems incredible that a man of my 
uncle's refinement and wealth should have been so illogical 
and rough. But it must not be forgotten that those were 
rough times and religious zeal often consumed one. 

One of the most original sermons of those days was 
preached by a Hard-Shell Baptist named Allen the only 
sermon, or sarmont as the old man called it, he had. No 
matter what his text might be the old brother would come 
around to the Parable of the Prodigal Son. He might start 
off with the Potter and his clay, but soon would stop and say, 
a And now, my brethren, ah, hence, ah." And then he would 
proceed to recite the Parable of the Prodigal Son, who ran 



GENTLE FOLK 21 

away from his father's house and lived among the swine and 
was fain to fill his belly with husks, but finally came back 
and was made welcome. And then with many an "ah" and 
"brethren, ah,' 7 the old preacher warmed to the subject in 
hand, 

"And that thar foolish boy, ah, what left his father's house, 
ah, he wandered off to a fur country, ah, and fell amongst 
wicked women, ah, and just here, my brethren, ah, I would 
say, ah, that thar ain't nothing wickeder nor a wicked 
woman, ah. And then that Prodigal, ah, he fell lower and 
lower, ah, like unto a turkey buzzard asailing up yonder in 
the sky, ah, and alooking down for carrion, ah. And then, 
*Ker flop,' ah, he drapped twell he hit the bottom, ah, as we 
all must do, ah, before we can come back home, ah. And 
then he sont word to his father, ah, he was tired of eating 
them husks, ah, and wanted to come back home, and what 
did that old father do, ah, but send him word to come on, ah, 
and then he went out in the stables, ah, where the livestock 
was stalled, ah, and he killed the fatted calf, ah, and, my 
brethren, let me tell you something, ah, that thar was a calf 
what was a calf, ah, none of your penny ryal breed, ah, sich 
as you have over on this side of Tair River, ah!" 

Of all the homes of our kinspeople Uncle Tayloe's was 
most enjoyable, it being simple and close to nature. The 
plantation was about two miles from town and the big ram- 
shackle old dwelling set away back from the road, in a grove 
of elm and water-oak. It reminded one indeed of Osbaldi- 
stone Hall in Rob Roy. Floors and walls littered up with 
firearms, fishing tackle, fishing poles, saddles, and harness. 
The porches groaning with watermelons, pumpkins, sweet 
potatoes, pea vines, and shocks of corn. In the lot, sleek 
horses and grunting sows, with scores of speckled pigs, strut- 
ting gobblers and loud screeching peafowls and droves of 
chickens. And above all, our incorrigible, and therefore de- 
lightful, Cousin Wat, a child of nature, who knew every 



22 GENTLE FOLK 

fishing hole, every deer stand, every fox's den in the neigh- 
borhood. 

Some morning long before day, Cousin Wat would wake 
me, and he and I would go fishing out to Rice's mill pond, a 
few miles awaythe head waters of the Cashie River. By 
breakfast time the bottom of our canoe would be fluttering 
with fish, fat yellow bellies, delicious red breasts called rob- 
insand goggle eyes, and now and then an immense chub- 
all caught by my skillful cousin and not a one by me. But 
presently, at the breakfast table, my generous cousin would 
please me no little as he pointed to a five-pound chub, siz- 
zling in the platter, and said, without a smile, "This little 
fellow was Bob's catch." 

So easygoing and unorthodox was our Cousin Watson that 
Uncle Tayloe almost despaired of him and Uncle Jordan 
made him an object of prayer. "O Lord," he would pray, 
"hear the earnest petition of Thy humble servant and if it be 
possible, save poor sinful Watson." Now, after a while the 
incorrigible Wat took unto himself a wife, when Uncle 
Jordan ceased to pray for poor sinful Watson exactly why 
no one knew, our Jordan cousins insisting that our kinsman 
was past redemption, but Mother, more charitable, maintain- 
ing that his wife would take the place of the Lord. And so 
it proved. In a short while Cousin Wat straightened up and 
reared a worthy family, one of whom laid down his life on 
Flanders Field. 

Uncle Tayloe had a daughter, Betty, and a son, David, 
who % married another Betty, and to distinguish between the 
two we called one "Cousin Betty" and the other "Cousin 
Betty Dave." Cousin Betty Dave was an impressive woman, 
having presence and atmosphere. The Dave Tayloes lived 
on Uncle's plantation. Their servants were out of the ordi- 
nary in being able to read and write. One of them, the 
housemaid, was a real prodigy in music. The name of this 
child was Cymbry. She was straight, erect, and copper- 



GENTLE FOLK 25 

colored, and had flowing black hair and deep, far-away, ori- 
ental eyes. She was likewise quickwitted and fun-loving. 
But for these qualities she might have passed for an Indian 
girl. After hearing any of the popular music of the day, 
Cymbry could catch the tune and play it by ear. It was a 
great pleasure to go over to Cousin Dave's and hear Cymbry 
render "Molly Darling," "The Mocking Bird," "Juanita," 
Tom Moore's "Love Song," "Ben Bolt," and other popular 
music. Cymbry had never taken a lesson in music and must 
have absorbed it from her mistress, an accomplished pianist. 

This phenomenon Cymbry's innate knowledge of music- 
reminds me of another remarkable occurrence in our own 
household. My sister was born with holes already through 
her ears, in the proper place for stringing ear-bobs! Mother 
availed herself of nature's kindness and, without the use of a 
needle, strung the old family rings in the little one's ears. 
Believe it or not! 

When Cousin Betty would visit us she spent a month or 
more, and, on departing, left us disconsolate. ^Though an old 
maid she was full of romance and could relate such gruesome 
tales as made one's hair stand on end. She told one story 
about a cousin of ours who drove from his farm up to Wind- 
sor and got very drunk. On the way home his horse took 
fright and ran away. The poor fellow tumbled out of the 
gig, tangled his clothing in the wheels, and was dragged a 
great distance over rough roads. When the runaway team 
reached the old homestead it presented a sad spectacle. The 
young man was beaten to a pulp. Now this tragedy had 
been foreseen, in a dream, by the dead boy's mother. Several 
months before, she had dreamed she was in a far country and 
was looking down a deep well and in the bottom of this well 
she could discern a bloody corpse. It proved to be her own 
son. 

As Cousin Betty finished this story I was so much fussed 



24 GENTLE FOLK 

that I made a very inappropriate observation. Said I, "Cousin 
Betty, how old are you, anyhow?" 
"Robert," she tardy replied, "you mustn't be so inquisi- 



Though I did not understand what inquisitive meant, my 
feelings were hurt. I must indeed have been a very thin- 
skinned youngster. In the spring of 1 868, Father and Mother 
left me at Uncle Webb's to attend school, and went down 
to the fishery. It so happened that my teacher was then liv- 
ing at Uncle's, and one day, at the table, he asked me if I 
was going to Cousin Mary's school next year. "No, sir," I 
innocently replied. "Pa says no woman can teach a boy!" 
A death-like silence fell on the company and Cousin Mary 
left the table. Chagrined and mortified, I, too, quit the room 
and went out on the porch, alone, watching the raindrops 
as they fell Presently Cousin Betty, teacher's sister, fol- 
lowed and tried to console me by changing the subject. 

"Robert," she said, pointing to the falling raindrops, "do 
you know why we say 'as silly as a goose'?" A remark all 
but finishing me. I thought Cousin Betty was referring to the 
mistake I had made and classing me with the geese. But, as 
I looked to the place she was pointing, I saw a well-grown 
gosling with its mouth wide open, standing under the drain- 
spout and, goose-like, drowning itself. 



CHAPTER III 

"GOOD MORNING TO THE KING OF THE 
KU KLUX" 

FROM the downfall of the Confederacy to the inauguration 
of Military Reconstruction, nearly two years, the South re- 
cuperated beyond expectation. Crops were good, prices satis- 
factory and local affairs under white control. The Negro 
had not yet received the ballot, and though troops were 
retained in the South, no great amount of friction resulted. 
The President had appointed humane and competent military 
governors, as a rule, and was doing all in his power to protect 
the late Confederate States in their constitutional rights. 

Until recent years, I would say President Andrew Johnson 
was a misunderstood man. Though born a poor white he 
was esteemed by conservatives of Father's type and honored 
by his native state, whose University invested him with the 
title, Doctor of Laws. On that occasion Brother Patrick 
graduated and, when he had delivered a patriotic valedictory, 
was presented by the President with a gold watch and chain. 
There was still another tie that bound our family to Andrew 
Johnson. In 1868 he appointed Brother George to the Naval 
Academy as midshipman from the state at large. Further- 
more he was granting pardons, without stint, to deserving 
Confederates. 

My brother-in-law, Judge A. W. Graham, youngest son 
of the Secretary of the Navy under Fillmore, told an inter- 
esting story of how his father's disabilities were removed. In 
the winter of 1865 Governor Graham, an Old Line Whig on 
the ticket with Scott for Vice-President, arrived in Wash- 
ington to take his seat as the newly-elected senator from the 

25 



26 "THE KING OF THE KU KLUX" 

lately rebellions state of North Carolina. The Governor was 
met at the station by Secretary Seward and entertained by 
him. No doubt the two old Whigs had much to talk about, 
since they had last seen each other five years before. At all 
events, the Senator-elect informed the Secretary that he was 
disqualified to hold office, as his disabilities had not been re- 
moved. Seward put himself in communication with the 
President and obtained the necessary pardon. Next morn- 
ing, at the breakfast table, the guest was agreeably surprised 
to find the document in the folds of his napkin. 

Now, during this era of partial good feeling, those seces- 
sionists who had brought on the war were held in aversion. 
Nor was the Democratic party in less disesteem. Long after 
the Whig party dissolved I heard Mother declare that she 
was born a Whig and would die a Whig. Proudly she had 
met Mr. Clay in 1845, she a slip of a girl, and the distin- 
guished visitor a candidate for President on a triumphant 
journey to Raleigh. At Henderson, near his destination, the 
train stopped a few moments, while thousands of enthusiastic 
Whigs waved their hats and cheered. Mother, clothed in 
garments of native manufacture, approached the cars and 
presented the patron of home industries a silk vest, woven 
from local cocoons, symbolizing progress and prosperity, 
which home factories alone could bring about and for which 
the grand old Whig party stood! 

Nor was love of Henry Clay confined to Mother and her 
people it wholly possessed Father. When a young man he 
had quit the law school at Chapel Hill and gone to Washing- 
ton, ostensibly to perfect himself in his profession, but really 
to sit at the feet of those Americans of Americans, Webster 
and Clay, Everett and Willie P. Mangum. On the walls of 
our old home at Windsor, even at this day, one may see 
portraits of Clay and Webster, upon which my young eyes 
rested long before I knew their significance. 

Now I must protest that the Whigs were mistaken in 



"THE KING OF THE KU KLUX" 27 

branding all of their Democratic opponents as disunionists. 
Undoubtedly, many in the Far South were original secession- 
ists, but in the Border States the contrary was true. As early 
as 1850, Rhett of South Carolina, Yancey of Alabama, and 
Jefferson Davis of Mississippi favored secession, and in 1860 
regarded a separation not only as necessary but a duty in the 
event of Lincoln's election. The Whig Convention of i860 
was attended by Father and his life-long friend, afterwards 
Governor, that sturdy, long-headed old Quaker, Jonathan 
Worth. This convention undoubtedly stuck its colter in 
rather deep, proclaiming that the Democratic party was a 
traitor, conspiring to bring on war and break up the Union. 

In my case, however, whether the Whigs were right or 
wrong makes little difference. The point is, I was brought 
up to conclude, with Jonathan Worth, that the fire-eaters of 
the South and the fanatics of the North were guilty of the 
most wicked, and the most useless war ever waged. In truth, 
just as soon as hostilities ended, North Carolina, as I can bear 
witness, was thoroughly reconstructed and original secession- 
ists dared not raise their heads. The desolation that had fol- 
lowed the acceptance of their war-like councils was their 
undoing. It was remembered that in 1861 Congressman 
Venable, of Oxford, had guaranteed a peaceful secession. On 
a dozen stumps he made this boast. He would draw a silk 
handkerchief from his pocket and dramatically wave it over 
the deluded crowds, exclaiming, "I wiU wipe up every drop 
of blood shed in the war with this handkerchief of mine." 

During the two years I am now describing, so bitter was 
the feeling toward the Democratic party that it changed its 
name and became the Conservative party. But not even this 
change could entice dyed-in-the-wool Unionists to affiliate 
with the legatee of the lately deceased secession Democracy. 
Father's old friend and neighbor, Andrew Craig, a Baptist 
preacher of force and independence, and the father of Gov- 
ernor Locke Craig, became an out-and-out Republican. 



28 "THE KING OF THE KU KLUX" 

When Brother Patrick ran as a Democratic candidate for the 
legislature, a Whig kinsman, who had lost many slaves, and 
nearly everything else by the war, refused to vote for him. 
"Vote for Pat Winston," he sneered. "Vote for a Democrat! 
Why, I wouldn't vote for a Democrat to tote guts to a bear!" 
Lewis Thompson, whose family and ours were most intimate, 
never became a Democrat. 

A man of means and soundness of judgment, Mr. Thomp- 
son had often served in the general assembly and directed the 
affairs of the Whig party. He refused to right-about-face. 
How then did the Democratic party come to life again and 
how did the reign of the Brigadiers, as Walter Page termed 
it, begin? Furthermore, how did it happen that the white 
Republican party in the South died aborning? Undoubtedly, 
as I have said, the folly of Northern radicals produced this 
result. Such well-known extremists as Thad Stevens, Charles 
Sumner and Ben Wade wrecked the white Republican party 
and gave the old secession Democracy its opportunity. They 
took the ballot from the master and entrusted it to the slave. 
They put the bottom rail on top, one of the darkest tragedies 
in all history. 

Now Father, having foreseen this and anticipated the evil 
day, refused to follow his friend Thompson into the Republi- 
can party. And yet to become a Democrat was a bitter dose. 
How could he put off the constructive principles of Wash- 
ington, and Patrick Henry his kinsman, and of those beloved 
Whigs, Clay, Graham, and Badger, and put on the trappings 
of the mob? How could a Whig become a Democrat? Alas, 
necessity knows no law. It was the choice of evils and Father 
chose the lesser one. The heel of the despot was on the 
brow of his state. A common danger drew the whites to- 
gether. 

How fresh in my memory is the year 1868, when negroes 
of aH ages and all degrees of ignorance took possession of 
Bertie County, did the voting, filled the offices, and spread 



"THE KING OF THE KU KLUX" 29 

dismay, egged on by unscrupulous whites and protected by 
the Freedmen's Bureau. One of our slaves haled Father 
before the commanding officer of the Bureau upon a com- 
plaint that wages had not been paid him. This poor fellow 
had lived on Father's farm, with his wife and several small 
children, was supplied with a house and fire-wood free, and 
had been given the small crop he made. Not only was the 
case dismissed but the colored man was cautioned against 
preferring another false charge. 

It has been said that the Negro does not desire the ballot. 
A close observation of him, when he had it, leads me to 
doubt this conclusion. I would say that the Negro, when 
clothed with citizenship, loved the ballot as much as a funeral 
or a revival. In the late sixties and early seventies, I saw 
negroes crowd around the polls and shut out the whites. 
At sunset when the polls were closed a large number of 
whites had been unable to vote because they could not press 
through the black mass and reach the ballot box. Bertie 
was a black county, in the Black Belt, and had more blacks 
than whites. In these circumstances chaos followed. 

On election day in 1868, I had been permitted to leave 
home and go through the streets of Windsor to my uncle, 
Lorenzo Webb's. I might spend the day and see the sights, 
Mother had agreed. But I must, under no circumstances, 
venture out of the house. On my breast I had proudly 
pinned a Seymour and Blair badge. How well do I recall 
that little emblem, with its pictures of Horatio Seymour and 
Frank P. Blair, our standard bearers for President and Vice- 
President, our champions of civil liberty. As I came through 
town I saw the United States flag floating to the breeze. The 
Old Flag had been appropriated as the Republican emblem. 
My heart burnt within me and I became a shouting young 
Democrat. 

Thousands of negroes surrounded Sheriff Bell's bar-room, 
Bell a carpet-bagger, an Englishman and a typical, pug-nosed 



30 "THE KING OF THE KU KLUX" 

leader. Negro women crouched on the side-walk to spur on 
their menfolk. From my retreat, within the latticed porch 
at my uncle's, I witnessed the parade, a motley procession 
led by carpet-baggers and native scalawags, its rank and file 
the newly liberated slaves. Buck and Slade went swinging 
along, dancing and stepping high. A brass band gave forth 
wretched music as savage shouts tore the air. Unearthly 
guffawing and wild cheering for Gineral Grant and de 'Publi- 
can party were incessant. 

Next morning the news came that Seymour and Blair were 
defeated and the Radicals had won. The black people were 
then thrown into a frenzy of delight. Lodges, fraternal 
orders and leagues flourished. Fantastic rituals and cere- 
monials were brought forth, secret oaths were taken. The 
Negro race was welded together against their old masters. 
Wild notions of equality were taught. Every family should 
be provided with a mule and forty acres, to be selected from 
the most desirable lands in the county. Many negroes actu- 
ally staked off their holdings with wooden pegs. 

Meanwhile the town of Windsor was terrorized. The 
whites were too close to the war to organize or offer resist- 
ance. But presently as we shall see, retribution came swift 
and terrible. The whites armed and determined that their 
civilization should not be submerged by the blacks. The 
Ku Klux Klan came into existence and violence was over- 
come by violence. Terror-stricken carpet-baggers fled to the 
North, white scalawags slunk back into obscurity and the 
Negro returned to the plow and the kitchen. 

The leader in this counter-revolution I knew well. Josiah 
Turner, editor of the Raleigh Sentinel, was an old Union 
Whig and an inveterate enemy of all secessionists. Yet he 
was now standing shoulder to shoulder with them. Certainly 
Danton was no more spectacular or fearless than this tribune 
of the people, an adept at ridicule, day in and day out, tig- 
ging die enemies of his state with imperishable epithets if 



"THE KING OF THE KU KLUX" 31 

infamy. His printing press and office were burned, he him- 
self shot at, arrested, cast in jail, yet he never flinched. The 
stormy petrel of politics, when his deep-toned voice was 
heard and his prophecy of vengeance to come, Ms enemies 
trembled. 

It was at this critical hour that Turner came down to 
address the people of Bertie and was our guest at Windsor 
Castle, occupying the apartments known as the Judge's 
rooms. Next morning at breakfast I beheld a man I can never 
forget. Of revolutionary proportions, with a forehead not 
unlike some cathedral dome, eyes deep set, a cavernous mouth 
and a voice that carried conviction, Josiafa Turner's presence 
was masterful Entering the dining room he greeted Mother 
with a stately bow and then, in broad Scotch accent, said to 
my little curly-headed, three-year-old sister, "Good morn- 
ing to the queen of the household." In a flash Mother 
prompted the reply, "Good morning to the long of the Ku 
Klux!" 

If my recollection of those stormy days leaves the impres- 
sion that the Negro race was vindictive or resentful the idea 
should be erased. The Negro, when left alone, was kind 
and companionable. Though he had lately been a savage 
and frequently a cannibal he was not brutal nor did he har-v 
bor any grudge or cherish malice. Superstitious, emotional, 
musical, a mere imitator, the Negro was, nevertheless, a good 
servant and the friend of the white man. If I should sub- 
scribe to the notion that a monument is due to the faithful 
slaves, I should insist upon a greater monument to the South- 
ern white woman whose labors, as mistress of the old planta- 
tion, raised four million human beings from the depths of 
savagery to a place as citizens of the republic. 

Just here I will say there was never a day, after our slaves 
were set free, that my parents wished them back in servitude. 
The master's responsibility was too great. Caring for a hun- 
dred human beings bore too heavily. Our plantation was a 



32 C 'THB KING OF THE KU KLUX" 

vast empire, a sanatorium in fact. It had many departments: 
weaving, carding, spinning, a blacksmith shop, a wheelwright 
establishment, a mill for grinding corn. Two hundred feet 
must be shod and a hundred mouths fed a stupendous task. 
But, somehow it was accomplished. During the war, and 
when the weather was warm, the slaves and the white chil- 
dren went barefoot, and, in cold weather, we wore wooden- 
bottom shoes whose soles were of wood and uppers of squir- 
rel skins. 

One responsibility resting upon my parents was frightful. 
I refer to the care of the aged, the infirm, the deformed, the 
cripple and, most of all, the insane. These afflicted ones had 
no public institution to shelter them. Their protection de- 
volved upon their masters. The story of poor old Uncle 
Ben, a deep-water Baptist, will illustrate the point. This ig- 
norant slave was strangely familiar with the Bible and his 
favorite topic was the fall of Jericho, when Joshua blew the 
ram's horn and the walls fell. In old age and decrepitude, 
Uncle Ben imagined he was Joshua. With hands to his 
mouth, he would walk around the Great House, mumbling 
to himself and blowing his imaginary horn. One of the old 
man's songs so terrified Sue and Lundsay and rne that we 
would run and hide behind the tall hedge. In a weird, un- 
earthly tone Uncle Ben would croon these words, lengthen- 
ing out the last one in each line, 

Oh! I looked to de E-a-s-t 

An' I looked to de W-e-s-t 

An' I thought hit was judgment D-a-y 

Oh! sinner-man you better had prayed dat D-a-y. 

The loyalty of the freedmen to the Republican party is, 
in my opinion, greatly to their credit. Though Father was 
a kind master I did not blame his slaves for voting with the 
Republicans. And this they did to a man. Buck and Slade 
and George Pruden and Washington and even Sid Stone, 



"THE KING OF THE KU KLUX" 33 

husband of Lucy, our housegirl, part and parcel of us, as we 
have seen, these and all our other slaves were unswerving 
in their Republican allegiance. They had been taught, and 
correctly, that the campaigns of '56 and *6o were fought on 
the issue of the non-extension of slavery and President Lin- 
coln had signed the document to set them free whether to 
save the Union or for humanitarian reasons they did not care. 
And yet Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, and the 
three amendments, which undertook to make the slaves the 
equals of their masters, were momentous in history. Thereby 
an issue was raised that has not yet been settled. The Negro 
problem, indeed, has given me more concern than all other 
matters affecting my native land. At Skibo, in Scotland, 
Andrew Carnegie and John Morley were once discussing this 
grave question, when Morley said, "Of all the problems that 
ever confronted a people, I consider that of the American 
Negro the most perplexing." 



CHAPTER IV 

WINDSOR CASTLE 

BEYOND doubt, my life has been greatly influenced by 
Civil War memories. Yet heredity must be taken into ac- 
count. Daily I thank my stars that so true a man as Father 
married so gentle a woman as Mother. From this union there 
arose a home, liberal and wholesome. Mother's people were 
English and Scotch. One of her ancestors served in the 
Colonial Congress. Another made the first gift of glebe 
land to the Established Church, at the historic town of 
Edenton. Her father's father, a native of Edinburgh, came 
over with his half-brother, William McGloughorn, and set- 
tled off our coast. These were gentle folk, not overly am- 
bitious, and, after the manner of their kinspeople, the Wat- 
sons, Capeharts, and Masons, imbued with tidewater 
hospitality. 

Father's people, of an up-the-country stock, were more 
fibrous. Captain Isaac Winston, of the Alabama branch, has 
made a card index of the family. This chart, in the Virginia 
Historical Society rooms at Richmond, shows that William 
Winston was the first of the name to land in America. He 
settled in St. Paul's ParisE, on the James. The immigrant 
had a son, Anthony, who was father to four stalwart boys, 
William, Isaac, James and Anthony. From the first Anthony 
many notable people descended: Patrick Henry, of Revolu- 
tionary fame, John Anthony Winston, war governor of Ala- 
bama;* and Major Joseph Winston, who commanded the right 
wing of our army at King's Mountain. To these names I 
would add Father's. 

From William, the immigrant, to the present generation a 

34 



WINDSOR CASTLE 35 

family likeness is discoverable. If we should select Patrick 
Henry, the orator, whose mother was a Winston, as a type, 
we would find traits characteristic of his mother's family, 
imagery, nervous energy and moving eloquence traits pre- 
dominating in Father. Now, in mentioning my parent in the 
same breath with his great kinsmen, I may be charged with 
partiality, a common fault when a son speaks of one so near 
to him. It may be asked, what did my father accomplish, did 
he hold high office or accumulate wealth or champion a great 
cause? The answer must be, "No, he did none of these 
things." Yet he was greater, I conclude, than many of the 
so-called great. He conquered himself and was therefore 
greater than he who taketh a city. 

In former days it was customary in the South to designate 
a prominent man by the county in which he lived. In North 
Carolina we spoke of Kitchin of Halifax, Manning of Chat- 
ham, Todd of Ashe, Doughton of Alleghany. Hence Father, 
away from home and in print, was Patrick Henry Winston, 
Jr., of Bertie, the Junior distinguishing him from a learned 
kinsman in the hill country. But at home, and in Eastern 
Carolina, he bore a more affectionate title. From the head 
waters of the Albemarle to the sand dunes of Kill Devil hills, 
where the Wrights taught mankind to fly, Father was known 
as Old Man Pat. Young and old delighted in imitating his 
oddities and strove to reproduce his funny stories and clothe 
them in his droll, unexpected figures of speech. 

Father was not a native of Bertie. When his great-grand- 
father, Anthony, moved from Virginia he settled in Franklin 
County. There, a few miles from Springfield, Father was 
born and reared. Chance drew him to Bertie. He was 
chosen to conduct the Oak Grove Academy near Windsor. 
Among his pupils was Martha Byrd, whom he married five 
years later. At that time Windsor was a flourishing little 
town, situated on the deep, sluggish, amber-colored Cashie 
at the head waters of navigation, the center of important 



36 WINDSOR CASTLE 

trade in tar, pitch and turpentine. Shingles riven from ju- 
niper and cypress and staves made of oalc were bought and 
sold by the millions. Cotton was the money crop. So ex- 
tensive was the trade of Windsor that Ezra Cornell, founder 
of Cornell University, often visited the place, exchanging the 
contents of his schooner for naval stores. 

But Windsor's attractions consisted of more than com- 
modities. The section lying between the Chowan and Roa- 
noke Rivers was rich in memories and in family traditions. 

In the Sound section were the Capeharts, who had owned 
hundreds of skves and still possessed thousands of acres, be- 
sides the great Capehart fishery, that once at a single haul 
landed a million herrings, the world's record. Bill Capehart's 
race horses were well known at Saratoga and Cape May. The 
Capehart homes were open as day to melting charity. Scotch 
Hall, Avoca and Elmwood were their names. 

Now I would not imply that a Bertie home could compete, 
in architectural beauty, with the mansions of Tidewater Vir- 
ginia, or of Natchez, Mississippi, or of Charleston, South 
Carolina. But, to my simple mind, our houses were more 
sensible and more pleasant. Such a home was bright and airy. 
No dank undergrowth encircled it. No stagnant pool filled 
the air with mosquitoes and malaria. Usually the dwelling 
stood several feet above the ground, and sunshine and winds 
circulated, sweetening it from turret to foundation. At least 
such was Windsor Castle, our old home, situated on an 
eminence overlooking the town and some three-quarters of 
a mile from the Cashie. 

This hundred-acre tract Father had bought and built on 
about the year 1856. A fort of logs had stood in the center; 
this fort was torn away and our present house erected. The 
dwelling, of conventional colonial architecture, was white, ex- 
cept the blinds, which were green; was square-shaped, with 
four spacious, high-vaulted rooms below and four above. An 
ample hallway stretched from front to rear, and there were 



WINDSOR CASTLE 37 

fireplaces in every room. The dwelling stood in the center 
of a five-acre enclosure, and set about it were mimosas, cape 
jessamines and hollys, red with berries. Great spreading elms 
and water-oaks furnished a grateful shade. Windsor Castle's 
interior was not elaborate. There were few antiques. Turk- 
ish rugs and curiously shaped bric-a-brac were lacking. But 
books were everywhere: on the shelves, in the chairs and 
upon the floor. Father's money had gone into books and 
into the education of his children. 

Father was the loving head of the household and everyone 
did him homage. At night when he would come home, he 
would find everything just so. A sputtering, cracking, pine- 
knot fire, a hearth as clean as Cousin Sarah Battle's, a pair of 
warm socks, manufactured by Mother's flying needles, with 
the initials "P. H. W." deftly knit in the shank, comfortable 
slippers, and three or four sperm candies shedding a steady, 
mellow light. Though kerosene lamps had come into use 
and were cheaper than candles, they were never seen in 
Windsor Castle. No picture dwells more fondly in. the 
chambers of memory than my recollection of Father, on a 
cold, wintry night, seated at his cozy table, surrounded by 
four or five candles in curiously shaped sticks, and reading 
Scott or Irving, as Mother would softly enter and place a 
loving hand on his forehead and press her lips to his brow. 

A distance of ten honest steps separated the dwelling from 
the kitchen the odor of cooking was not tolerated. Near 
by were the smokehouse and the stables, the former filled 
with meat and fish cured by smoke from hickory coals. 
From the curtilage one entered the garden, rich in the per- 
fume of thyme, sweet betsies and honeysuckle. Raspberries, 
artichokes, and melons abounded, and, in season, maypops, 
pecans and hazelnuts. Hid away back in the further corner 
of the garden, a hundred yards or more from the dwelling, 
was the garden house that mysterious institution, concealed 



38 WINDSOR CASTLE 

among the bamboo and immortalized by James Whitcomb 
RHey. 

How fresh and open was our old home! There was neither 
malaria nor bilious fever nor that dread malady, yellow chills, 
which often afflicted less careful homes. Mother and her 
wonderful housekeeper, Miss Lennie, so immaculately clean 
that she washed her hands every hour of the day, had brought 
these conditions about. 

Such were the simple surroundings of my parents when 
horrid war burst upon us and swept away everything. And 
yet Father was not cast down. Though he bled inwardly, 
he uttered no complaint. He kept his children at school, 
operated farms and fisheries and entered upon the practice 
of his profession with renewed diligence and success. 

At that rime the lawyers of the East were noted for skill 
and ability. Many of them I kn^w. Chief Justice Smith, 
who came within a few votes of being Speaker of the Na- 
tional House; Louis Latham, member of Congress; and Judge 
George Brown, called Magnus Brown, great Brown, when 
at school. But no one of these leaders excelled Henry Gilliam. 
Shrewd, resourceful, and debonair, with a round, bald head, 
bisected with swollen veins, not unlike Mohammed's, Judge 
Gilliam was the terror of all opponents. 

Now he and Father were well known to each other, being 
rivals in a dozen counties. And, at a certain term of Chowan 
court, Father, having been called away on business, entrusted 
a case to his friend John Moore, explaining that he would 
have no difficulty as there was a complete brief of facts and 
law in the papers. Before the case was reached, Moore 
opened the file and possessed himself of the important docu- 
ment. It read somewhat like this, "John: If Henry Gilliam 
offers you a compromise, reject it; if you offer him one and 
he accepts, withdraw at once." 

Another story of Father was current, but strictly in the 
family. Mother, solicitous about a relative of he**", of colonial 



WINDSOR CASTLE 39 

descent but now besotted and seedy, Inquired of Father if 
he had seen the poor fellow* 

"Indeed I have/' Father replied. "In fact, I saw him on 
the streets today." 

"Oh, honey, I am so glad. And how did he look?" 

"Well, Mammy, I'd say he looked like a small-sized whis- 
key jug with the handle broke off!" 

Despite this habit of using homely figures of speech, Father 
was a man of dignity. No one dared take liberties with him. 
Pride of birth, I would say, was his passion, perhaps his fault. 
The propensity of overrating those intellectuals who had at- 
tained the heights sometimes provoked a smile. Certainly, 
with my humor-loving brothers. When Father purchased 
"Cufnells," for the sentimental reason that it had belonged to 
the late James Iredell, a Justice of the Supreme Court of 
the United States Cufnells being a poor plantation infested 
by negroes, or Cuffees Brother Pat laughed and suggested 
that the name was not Cufnells at all but Cuffeenells! 

Emerson once said of Thoreau that he would as soon offer 
to walk, arm in arm, with an elm tree as with the sage of 
Walden Pond. So, I am sure, everyone felt towards Father. 
He had no intimates. Moreover, he was practical and had 
a lot of saving common sense. Yet again he was an idealist 
and lived among the stars. Such a man had a steadfast faith. 
Life he considered purposeful. A self-made universe he 
could not conceive of. Of necessity, there must be a God, a 
first cause. When Darwin's theory of evolution was sweep- 
ing America Father was amused. He would take out pencil 
and paper and write a practical question like this, "Does 
evolution imply that my great-great-grandfather, away back 
yonder, say a million degrees removed, was a fish?" 

One Sunday afternoon, it being a half holiday, for the 
servants, Brother George, just fresh from Cornell and John 
Fiske's lectures on evolution, was enlightening Father on 
that subject, and was in the depths of Herbert Spencer's 



40 WINDSOR CASTLE 

theory of the development of man from matter by passing 
from an Indefinite, Incoherent homogeneity, to a definite, 
coherent heterogeneity, when he ceased speaking to get 
Father's reaction. The old gentleman, disturbed by the si- 
lence, roused himself, and, raising his massive head, said, 
"George, have you fed those mules? " 

Now this reply was not a cheap display of abruptness. 
Father's common sense assured him that the finite cannot 
comprehend the Infinite by searching no one can find out 
God. Yet he was not narrow nor was he a bigot. He de- 
lighted in science, and was a student of astronomy and of 
the ups and downs of mankind. Moreover, he was desirous 
that his children should be cultured, go to the bottom of a 
subject and follow an honest thought wheresoever it might 
lead. He had a well-selected library, and was a good critic. 
In the world of letters his standards were the highest. Like 
the scholars of his day, he knew his Shakespeare and his 
Scott. The Bible he reveled in, not so much for its theology 
as its knowledge of human nature, its revealingness, its match- 
less style. With Webster, he concluded that the Sermon on 
the Mount was a good enough creed for any church, 

Shakespeare's Henry IV he could repeat almost word for 
word, and as for sweet Jack Falstaif , kind Jack Falstaff , true 
Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff and plump Jack Falstaff, 
should you banish him you would banish all the world! Scott's 
Ivmihoe and Talisman had a fascination for him. He de- 
lighted In intellectual audacity and in the clash and paradox 
which characterize all great literature. The mailed knights 
of the tourney, over against Lady Rowena and the plastic 
Rebecca, the magnanimous Saladin, with his delicate rapier, 
contending with Kenneth of Scotland and his broadsword 
these contrasts greatly delighted Father. And this knowledge 
of the masters he did not hide under a bushel it was ever at 
the disposal of his family. If he found one of us immersed 
in Ivmhoe or Lew he would quietly approach and stimulate 



WINDSOR CASTLE 41 

us, but let Mm catch sight of some mushy f story in our 
hands, and he would sadly walk away leaving us lonely and 
forgotten, nor would he deign to be our companion again for 
many days. 

The summer of 1869 was memorable in my life. The war 
was barely over, and for nine long years Windsor remote 
from any railroad and shut out from the affairs of men- 
had been eager for news of the outside world. Therefore, 
when it was noised abroad ' that Pat Winston, from Balti- 
more, and George Winston, from the Naval Academy, had 
arrived at the Castle, Windsor and Bertie County were agog. 
The old home had been put in order for the occasion and the 
doors were thrown wide open for friends and neighbors. 
And in they came, from the Sound to Woodville, from the 
Indian Woods to Colerain. Many of them spent a week and 
enjoyed Miss Lennie's Lady Baltimore cake and well-cured 
ham, and rolls called Beauregards why, I have never known. 

Glasses and decanters having been passed around, dinner 
would be served at two o'clock and continue for two houx 
or more. Then the ladies would repair to the parlor and the 
men gather under the tall sycamore, where the shade was 
coolest and the grass greenest, and chairs and lounges awaited 
them, and huge bearskins had been spread. Perhaps Brother 
Pat would take off Edwin Booth as Hamlet; or, in tragic 
notes, tell how Salvini was playing Othello in a Baltimore 
playhouse. "By God, sirs," he would roar, "you should see 
Salvini in Othello. Nothing conventional, no stabbing in the 
breast." Then the youthful tragedian, tense with the recol- 
lection of Salvini, would whisper the last words of the un- 
happy Moor, as he went to his death. 

Soft you a word or two before you go, 

I have done the State some service and they know it. 

Set you down this 
And say besides that in Aleppo once 



42 WINDSOR CASTLE 

Where a malignant and turbaned Turk 
Beat a Venetian and traduced the State 

I took by the throat their cursed dog 
And smote him thus. 

And, then, sweeping his clenched fist across his goozle 
Brother Pat Salviiu4ike-~would sever the jugular vein! 

"How about that political speech of yours in Baltimore, 
Pat?" Mr. James Bond would slyly ask. 

"Yes, tell us about it, Pat," Captain Ned Outlaw would 
urge. 

Brother Pat, appearing reluctant to comply, would shake 
his head and deny the soft impeachment. Whereupon, 
amidst much protesting by the victim and chuckling by 
everyone else, Captain Outlaw would say, "Well now, Pat, 
this is the way we heard the story down here. It seems that 
an open-air rally was on one night in Baltimore, with mighty 
poor speaking, and then you circulated through the crowd 
and said, 'Boys, call for Pat Winston a damned little bald- 
headed Irishman, he'll wake things up!' And sure enough, 
the crowd yelled, Winston, Winston, Pat Winston!' And 
up you got and, after thanking the audience for the wholly 
unexpected call, started in on a red-hot Democratic speech, 
when some fellow yelled out, Why, that's the same damn 
fellow who told us to call for Pat Winston!' " 

After the laughter had subsided, Father would inquire 
about Reverdy Johnsonlate ambassador to the Court of 
St. James the senator who had asked General Sherman the 
one question which acquitted President Johnson. There- 
upon, Brother Pat would tell how completely Reverdy John- 
son dominated the Bar of Maryland. "J ust the other day Mr. 
Johnson, addressed a United States Court for two hours, and 
scarcely mentioned the case in hand. He told about Queen 
Victoria's court and Prime Minister Palmerston and English 
customs and manners and the prospects of a war with Eng- 



WINDSOR CASTLE 43 

land growing out of the Alabama claims, but never a word 
about his case. Of course he won, he always does." 

Before the jovial crowd broke up Brother George narrated 
his experiences when gaining admission to the Naval Acad- 
emy. By chance, he and a son of Hedrick, teacher at the 
University of North Carolina who had been dismissed for 
voting for Fremont for President, applied to Johnson for 
appointment to the Academy. The President received the 
youngsters kindly and wrote notes to the bushy-bearded 
old Connecticut deacon, as Governor Andrew called Gideon 
Welles, Secretary of the Navy. Young Hedrick, though 
a brilliant fellow, was rejected because of physical disa- 
bility. "The night of my acceptance was a happy one," 
Brother related. "And we celebrated in fine style. Brother 
Pat came over from Baltimore and he and I and the Hedricks 
went to the theater my first opera, The Bohemian Girl, 
played by a crack English Company." And then, in a voice, 
not unmusical, he sang a line, so well-known, "I dreamt that 
I dwelt in marble halls." From that day to this I never hear 
The Bohemian Girl without thinking of my brother's joyous 
visit. 

And yet at that time I was an insignificant part of our 
household, Brothers Pat and George being the bright particu- 
lar stars. Nothing much was expected of me; I was the runt, 
the pig that sucked the hind teat! In truth, Old Aunt Harriet 
once told me I was born so near dead and so black in the 
face that every known remedy was resorted to to bring me 
to life. They threw ice water in my face, blew down my 
throat and spanked me black and blue. Assuredly I must 
have resembled little David Copperfield, bom with a caul 
on his head, which his mother, as Dickens declares, sold at the 
low price of fifteen guineas. 

Though Mother was not learned in books she had a deal of 
common sense. Never would she undertake to argue a mat- 
ter of religion with her college-bred sons. How could she, 



44 WINDSOR CASTLE 

a mid- Victorian, contend with such modern free-thinkers? 
Yet she bravely held her own. When Brother George would 
put his arms about her and say, "Now, Mother, you know 
there is no such place as a fire-and-brimstone hell," she would 
gravely reply, "Never you mind, George, you just wait and 
see!" Whereupon, there would be a round of laughter and 
Brother would insist that Mother would be unhappy without 
her hell! 

When her sons were little fellows Mother sometimes used 
china rods on their bare legs, but Father never corrected one 
of us, except Brother Pat. That incorrigible brat, aged ten, 
seated on his banker pony, was parading down King Street, 
on one occasion, and riding backward, of course, that is, with 
his face toward the pony's tail, when Uncle Webb, the sedate, 
dignified, senior warden of St. Thomas' Church, observed 
the unusual spectacle and called out, "Hello, Henry, how 
much for a ride?" "You'll have to walk in and see the con- 
ductor," the young scapegrace replied, lifting the pony's tail! 

When I think of so pious a woman with so unorthodox a 
gang, I can enter into the feelings of the old hen that hatched 
out a brood of ducks and trembled when she saw her little 
ones, one by one, toddle to the pond and gaily swim away. 
It was indeed a strange sight, this injection of Father's liberal, 
free-thinking boys into staid old Bertie, over-religious and 
fundamental. And yet no people were bolder or more in- 
tellectual than some of our neighbors. Not only original 
thinkers, but men of business ability. Throughout the South, 
there were far-sighted men, industrialists organizers of fac- 
toriessuch as Gregg, Morehead, the Holts, and Father. Had 
these men been unfettered, I am satisfied they would have 
developed the South into a pattern for the nation. 

But before the war slavery was an insuperable barrier, 
though few people realized it; and after the war, the race 
question arose and the demagogue flourished. The whites 
then banded themselves together and created a Solid South 



WINDSOR CASTLE 45 

a mere rubber stamp, endorsing any movement labeled White 
Supremacy, and reminding one of an anecdote Governor 
Vance got off before the National Democratic Convention 
which nominated for President Horace Greeley, the South's 
severest critic. According to Vance, a mischievous urchin, 
finding out the number of the hymn to be sung, pasted, in 
its stead, the well-known lines beginning, "Old Grimes is 
dead." When the preacher opened the book and stumbled 
into this ludicrous skit, he cleared his throat, adjusted his 
glasses, hesitated and stammered, but finally read, 

Old Grimes is dead; that good old man 

We never shall see more. 

He used to wear a long black coat 

All buttoned down before 

"Well, brethren," the preacher said, "I didn't know it was 
in the book but here it is and we'll sing it through," "So," 
said Vance, "I didn't know Horace Greeley was in our 
Democratic hymn-book but here he is and well sing him 
through!" 

It will be recalled that Greeley, in his American Conflict^ 
had likened the Southern states to a worthless French noble- 
man who, on recovering from a debauch, yawned and beck- 
oned to his servant, as he sipped his whiskey and soda. "Oh, 
what a failure is my life," he groaned. "What a miserable 
failure!" "Pardon, monsieur, pardon," protested the valet. 
"Monsieur forgets, monsieur condescended to be bom!" 



CHAPTER V 
THE BERSERKS OF BERTIE 

WINDSOR was a quaint little village, its dwellings flush 
with the streets, its yards and gardens in the rear. The near- 
est railroad station was sixty long, sandy miles away, and the 
trip to the capitol at Raleigh consumed a night and two days. 
So remote was Windsor that no circus had visited the town 
until eight or ten years after the war. And here I must ex- 
plain that, in the South, time was always reckoned in terms of 
the Civil War, everything having taken place either before or 
after that event. On the occasion in question Robinson's 
circus was the attraction, and there were the usual contin- 
gents of elephants, lions, tigers and zebras, fat women, two- 
headed babies and rollicking clowns. 

The wide-spreading tents were pitched below Uncle Webb's, 
on the banks of the Cashie and, I dare say, every person not 
bed-ridden, white or black, whether in Bertie or an adjoining 
county, had journeyed to Windsor to see his first sure-enough 
circus. And a jolly, hilarious crowd it was. In the big tent 
there were two rings filled with racing dogs, performing 
elephants, educated seals, daring acrobats, and calico-colored 
horses that were hitched to chariots or ridden by gaudily 
dressed, or undressed, women who kicked up their padded 
legs to the scandal of the pious, orthodox portion of the 
crowd. But as for us small boys, the clowns, painted and 
bedizened, were our cynosure, the very apple of our eyes. 
Though seventy years have come and gone I can see one 
of those clowns as he walked up to old man Tom Heckstall, 

the solemn-faced, Baptist deacon, quite conscience-smitten at 

46 



THE BERSERKS OF BERTIE 47 

being caught at a circus, and took him by his long white 
beard. 

"You have stolen my mare," he sternly called out, C Give 
her here or 111 pull her out!" And as the clown tugged away 
at the deacon's horse-tail whiskers the good-natured crowd 
fairly roared. 

Alas, at the very height of our fun, while hundreds of Joe 
Bunkers were on their feet cheering and shouting, the report 
of a pistol was heard. Then another and another. Instantly 
confusion reigned. The lions began to roar, the tigers and 
other wild beasts to lash their cages. The alarmed and mysti- 
fied crowd rushed for the streets, as the cry went up, "The 
wild animals have broken loose!" 

As our party were fleeing from the tent we saw on the 
canvas, next to the tiger's cage, blood spots, fresh and smok- 
ing, and down beneath the form of a negro, writhing in pain. 
It soon became known that three negro men had demanded 
admittance at half price and being refused had attacked the 
ticket agent and sought to break into the show. One of 
these had been shot and it was the odor of his blood that 
had infuriated the wild beasts and broken up our circus. An 
amusing episode was the appearance of our rector, Reverend 
Ed Wootten, rushing down from his home with double- 
barrel shotgun to join in the lion hunt! 

But my day was not altogether spoiled. Two circus men, 
having been arrested for murdering the negro, employed 
Father, together with all the other lawyers in the county. 
That night in the courthouse the trial took place before Gus 
Robins, the negro coroner. In the midst of the examination 
of witnesses the kerosene lamps went out. The laughing, 
roaring crowd scampered to the streets. The upshot was 
that the murderers could not be identified and the prisoners 
were discharged. 

Now in addition to receiving a good fee, Father was also 
presented with dozens of circus tickets, gaudily printed and 



48 THE BERSERKS OF BERTIE 

beautiful to look upon. And though John Robinson's circus 
soon left town, never to return, and the tickets Father gave 
me were as worthless as was Robinson Crusoe's gold on his 
lonely island, I was not only the envy of the village but con- 
sidered myself the possessor of untold wealth, a feeling that 
swelled my bosom for many a day. 

The amusements of those days were rough and primitive, 
but answered every purpose. During the Christmas holidays 
Jim Freeman, from the Goggoon Pocosin, would bring in a 
full-grown raccoon bear and wager ten dollars his beast could 
lick any two dogs in a fair fight. Seated well back in the 
gallery of the Thespian Hall, out of the danger zone, Ed 
Gray, Charlie Gurley and I would watch the combat below. 
The dogs, yelping and screaming with pain, as bruin slapped 
them helter-skelter against the rough walls and posts the 
bear, snarling, snapping and delivering telling blows, but 
never complaining. After an hour of breathless sport the 
bloody dogs would limp away, all fight gone out of them; 
and the bear, too, would retire to his corner, licking his paws 
and composing himself. The fight would be declared a draw 
and no money would pass hands. 

If the weather was favorable, the sports would take place 
out of doors. A wild gobbler would be fastened to a stake, 
a hundred yards from the shooting gallery, and the public 
invited, at twenty-five cents a head, to fire a rifle at the 
tempting prize, the bird to belong to the man who made the 
fatal shot. But no one ever succeeded in turning the trick. 
Not only had the fowl been oiled with goose grease by an 
old woman, half negro, half gypsy, whom everybody feared, 
but the ground had been loaded with quicksilver, whose 
magical properties no bullet could overcome the entire cere- 
monial suggestive of the witches in Macbeth. 

Superstition indeed dominated the lower classes and witch- 
doctors and gummerers infested the sticks. If one, pursued 
by an enemy, died suddenly, he was thought to have been 



THE BERSERKS OF BERTIE 49 

poisoned or glimmered A sure recipe for putting one's 
enemy out of the way was this: Bore an auger hole in a Eve- 
oak tree and fill the hole with a mixture of one egg, a hair, 
plucked from the tail of a gray mare, and add a handful of 
the victim's excrement. Plug the hole securely and await 
results. 

I once knew a backwoods preacher whose hogs were dying 
of cholera. The superstitious fellow, having been told by a 
witch-doctor there was only one cure,, applied the remedy. 
He caught a brood sow and dressed her in a suit of woolen 
clothes; he then poured kerosene oil over the garment and 
struck a match. The poor hog was soon reduced to a crack- 
ling. But, after all, was it worse to burn a pig in the swamps 
of Bertie than to burn a witch on the streets of Salem? 

The first dog I owned was a fice, named Ida. A shy, deli- 
cate little thing, white as a lock of September cotton and 
modest as a flower. I came by her in this way. An old cow 
having died in the hotel lot, near our private schoolthere 
were then no public schools Charlie Shepherd, the bad boy 
of the town, organized a gang to skin the animal and sell her 
hide. I was one of Charlie's henchman, and on the first dark 
night we boys, four in all, Shepherd, Brother Frank, Tom 
Gurley, and myself I being the youngest and the most timid 
assembled, with torches and butcher knives, whetted to an 
edge. Despite the execrable odor, the job was soon per- 
formed and my share of the proceeds was seventy-five cents, 
which I invested in my little dog. 

As I have said, Shepherd was the bad boy of the village, 
at least such Mother considered him, as she had formerly his 
older brother John, many a time using the china rods on 
Brother Pat for associating with John Shepherd. And yet 
it was rumored that Mrs. Shepherd, John's mother, had 
whipped John for associating with Brother Pat as often as 
Mother had whipped Brother Pat for associating with John! 
At all events Charlie Shepherd, chief clerk at William Peter 



50 THE BERSERKS OF BERTIE 

Gurley's general store, was a character. Freckle-faced, 
bowed in the legs, and undersized, the droll, saucy, imper- 
turbable fellow was a mimic and a wonderful banjo picker. 

Windsor and Shepherd seemed made for each other. The 
entire week, until Saturday, was given over to sports and 
amusements, Charlie going down the river fishing or sitting 
in front of the store, picking his banjo. But on Saturday he 
was busy. From early noon until sunset he would be on his 
feet, counting the shingles and staves which the country peo- 
ple had brought in to exchange for flour, sugar, molasses and 
coffee. About four o'clock, of a long hot Saturday after- 
noon, Charlie would come up from Gurley's shingle lot puff- 
ing and mopping his brow. "Well," he'd groan, "these eve- 
nings are a mile long. Damn me, if I don't believe God Al- 
mighty stops the world every Saturday to grease up!" 

Charlie's uncle, Quilly Moore, lived down the Cashie a 
piece and the old man's nose was so long and his chin so 
turned up that they greatly amused his nephew. "Have you 
hearn the news?" he would ask. "No, what news?" "News 
of the big meeting." "What big meeting?" "Why, hadn't 
you hearn old man Quilly Moore's nose and chin were gwine 
to meet?" 

Whenever I could escape from Mother I would run down 
to the Cashie with a gang of boys, led by Shepherd, and 
we would fight water battles and splash and swim and dive 
and duck and come up between the bottom of a canoe, which 
we had turned upside down, and the water beneath, clanging 
rocks together, our voices sepulchral and our faces like shad- 
ows in some underground cavern. Perhaps we would wind 
up with a watermelon feast or wade through the pocosin, fall 
in the creek, and get soaking wet. Then I would slip back 
home through the kitchen, where Lucy, our friend and slave, 
would dry me out before Mother could catch up with me! 

At a later date when the minstrel troupe was organized, 
called the Cashie Phunny Phellows, Brother Frank and 



THE BERSERKS OF BERTIE 51 

Charlie were the end-men, Shepherd with his banjo and 
Brother with his clogs. But these fun makers could draw 
tears as well as laughter. When the banjo would strike up, 
"Down by the Riverside/' accompanied by Brother's tenor 
and Shepherd's deeper note, surely there was never such 
music! Is there, indeed, a more melodious negro spiritual? 

I'm going to lay down my sword and shield 
Down by the riverside 
Down by the riverside 
Down by the riverside 

I'm going to lay down my sword and shield 

Down by the riverside 

Ain't going to study war no more 

Ain't going to study war no more 
Ain't going to study war no more 
Ain't going to study war no more. . . . 

Sometimes plays of merit East "Lyrme^ The School for 
Scandal or Ten Nights in a Bar Room would be put on the 
boards. More often Confederate scenes would be enacted 
and war songs, such as "Tenting Tonight," would be sung. 
On these occasions the women's parts would be played by 
men. It was indelicate for a lady to be seen on the stage. 

But these softer amusements were not so typical of the 
Berserks of Bertie as rough, out-of-door sports like bear 
fighting. At Christmas time the Ragamuffins would invade 
the town. Masked and disguised, they would cut up the 
most ridiculous antics, blow tin horns, beat the tom-toms 
and let loose the callithumps, setting the dogs to barking and 
greatly amusing us children. Several rimes I witnessed tour- 
naments in Windsor. The knights, bearing such high-sound- 
ing names as Wilfred of Ivanhoe, Kenneth of Scotland, and 
Richard the Lionhearted, would enter the list, with lance in 
hand, and dash, full speed, at a metal ring encased in cloth 



52 THE BERSERKS OF BERTIE 

and sospended between two upright poles. One after an- 
other the contestants would try their skill and the knight who 
secured the greatest number of rings would have the honor 
of crowning the Queen of Love and Beauty and directing 
the ball and leading the first couple in the Old Virginia Reel. 

Every Saturday was a full holiday for the farmers. On 
that day the vacant lots, the hotel stables and other available 
spaces would be filled with whinnying horses and braying 
jacks. By twelve o'clock half the visitors would be comfort- 
ably drunk, the Democrats with liquor from Skirven's bar on 
King Street, the Republicans and negroes with whiskey from 
Sheriff Bell's groggery on Granville Street. Presently a 
dispute would arise between the fighting Gaspers and Whites 
and Dundelowes. The lie would pass and the cry would go 
up, "Fight, fight!" Everyone would prick up his ears and 
rush to the scene of battle, where a dozen men were knock- 
ing, scratching and biting one another with great impartiality. 
To miss a part in the free-for-all fight was considered a sore 
disappointment. 

My usual perch on these exciting occasions would be the 
upper window of Gurley's store in front of the Democratic 
bar. From that place of safety Charlie Bond and I would 
watch the combatants, half an acre of them, swearing and 
tearing each other's clothes, and all about the most trifling 
incident, in no way connected with politics or other vital 
matters. After a while the more sober ones would succeed 
in pulling apart the bloody belligerents and restoring order. 
The hostilities would then be suspended until the next Satur- 
day at the same hour. 

Father's life in Bertie was an enviable one but lonesome. 
Nearly all the notable people had died or moved away and 
he, almost alone of his remarkable generation, remained. 
John Pool, now in the United States Senate but discredited 
because of political association, and Henry Gilliam, after- 



THE OF BERTIE S3 

wards a judge, were practicing elsewhere. Kenneth Raynor, 
the congressman who wrote the platform of the Know- 
Nothing party, and Joseph Bryan, another congressman, 
were dead; so were the two Outlaws and Cherry, and Wil- 
liam Allen a distinguished graduate of West Pointand his 
talented son, Thomas Turner Allen. It resulted that Father 
was the patriarch of Bertie, and as authoritative as Dr. John- 
son in London. 

Father's great weapon was the use of silence. With a 
contemptuous silence he could overcome any fool, no matter 
how blab-mouthed! Let someone advance a silly proposition 
and the ensuing silence would be painful. Maeterlinck's 
tribute to silence gave him many a jolly laugh. Yet there 
was one person who had no fear of Father and his defensory 
weapon. Charlie Shepherd was to Father what Wamba was 
to Cedric the Saxonhis foil and jester. Never a Wamba or 
a Touchstone more saucy or bold than Shepherd! "Ship- 
herd," Father delighted to call the saucy boy. 

One day our little town was shocked to learn that a re- 
spectable woman, a widow of several years' standing, had 
given birth to a child. Pretty soon Father came down the 
street and caught sight of Charlie. "Hello, Shipherd," he 
called out in his deep, mellow voice. "They tell me yon are 
the daddy of that little brat born last night." u 'Tain't me, 
Mr. Winston, it's your Frank!" This insolence and audacity 
though absurd Father never tired of. In truth Charlie's 
wit and banjo and songs were a solace to the entire county. 

I would not marry a po' gal 
I'll tell you the reason why 
Her neck so long and stringy 
I fear she'd never die! 

These droll words Shepherd would sing, as he thumbed 
his banjo, wagged his head and dashed off, 



54 THE BERSERKS OF BERTIE 

Fm going down town, Fm going down town 
Fm going down to Lynchburg town 
To cany my tobacco down* 

Occasionally the quick-witted rascal would improvise a bit 
of doggerel. One such verse I well remember, and it must 
have been original, filled as it was with numerous local hits, 

Cheer up, cheer up, my lively lads 

Don't let your courage fail 

Jonah's down on Salmon Creek 

A-fishing for a whale 

And when he ain't a-whaling 

He's at some other fun 

In the swamp a-cutting reeds 

His whales to string upon. 

Though Charlie was what is called a poor white he would 
take a humorous fling at poverty, and sing, in the most ridicu- 
lous manner, 

Fd rather be a nigger than a poor white man. 

The Civil War, as I have said, demoralized and bankrupted 
our land. In the old days there were thrifty plantations, well 
stocked with slaves and livestock. But now the fences were 
gone, scrubby cattle roamed at large, the ditches were filled 
with mud and covered with briars and underbrush. Squatters 
and worthless tenants lived in a state of nature, hunting, fish- 
ing and cultivating small patches of land. Moreover the 
morale of the people had been lowered and the sons of some 
of the old families had lost their bearings and were living in 
concubinage with mulatto women, by whom families were 
raised. Children of such a union had the status of their 
mother, that is, were negroes. The Roman law prevailed, 
the birth followed the belly. Partus sequitur ventrem. 

This condition of affairs bore heavily upon Father and had 
he been able to dispose of plantations and fisheries he would 



THE BERSERKS OF BERTIE SS 

have moved up the country to a white section. But his pos- 
sessions consisted of unsaleable real-estate. In order to edu- 
cate his family he was compelled to remain in a land remote 
from the centers of trade and blighted by an excess of negroes. 
Just here let me pause to state that the conditions just de- 
scribed have been changed. No land has witnessed greater 
improvement than Bertie and eastern Carolina. This change 
Father had foreseen and sought to hasten, but could not. 

Nothing better illustrates the cosmopolitan spirit of Wind- 
sor Castle than the marriage of my three brothers. The 
eldest, Patrick, espoused a Pittsburgh damsel, whose father 
was a resourceful and wealthy lawyer. The next, George, 
married a woman from Hinsdale, N. H., whose people really 
had come over in the Mayflower! The brother next older 
than myself, Francis, took to wife a Maine girl, the daughter 
of a surgeon in the United States Navy. 

In January, 1870, five short years after Appomattox, when 
it became known in staid old Bertie that Pat Winston was 
about to marry and bring in a Yankee wife, our kinsfolk 
held their breath. But Father had no misgivings. It was said 
indeed that Old Man Pat was going to celebrate the wedding 
visit in proper style. He had ordered a Brussels carpet, 15 ft. 
wide and 900 ft. long, to cover the entire walk-way from the 
front door of the Castle to the brow of the hill, overlooking 
the village! And though this statement was somewhat over- 
drawn a great ado was made. Barfield, the negro painter, 
put on three coats of paint, leaving the home a beautifully 
white enameled mass, relieved by the delicate green of the 
blinds. A Steinway pkno was purchased. Mr. Gulick, a 
French decorator, came down from New York and re- 
mained a month or more, papering, tinting, and repairing the 
ravages of time and of war. 

My very first certificate of character came from old Mr. 
Gulick, a nervous, sensitive creature, as artists usually are. 
Brother Frank and I occupied the northeast room on the sec- 



56 THE BERSERKS OF BERTIE 

end floor of onr home and Mr. Gulick the northwest room 
across the hall. Now Brother's singing and dancing often 
got on the old Frenchman's nerves and made him fretful. 
So one day, with much shrugging of his shoulders and apolo- 
gizing, he approached Mother and said, "Frank, he bad boy, 
he whistle, he sing, he sing, he whistle. Robert, he good boy, 
he no whistle, he no sing! " 

Though the journey from Windsor to Pittsburgh was a 
long one and money scarce, Father attended the marriage of 
Brother Pat and brought back the most curiously molded 
wedding cakes. But we one and all agreed that those Yankee 
cakes, though beautiful to look at, could not hold a rush-light 
to Miss Lennie's delicate angel cake and famous fruit cake. 
I remember Father's description of the wonderful Horse- 
Shoe Bend, winding around the mountains between Wash- 
ington and Pittsburgh, How the long train would curve, 
till one could reach out of the window and almost touch the 
puffing engine. 

' Now while Father was off on this visit I was busy with 
Andrew, one of our old slaves, and Ruffin Cofield, going up 
and down looking for the fattest turkeys and the freshest 
butter and eggs not omitting a 'possum or two by way of 
surprise for our Yankee kinswoman soon to arrive. And, at 
Sheriff Bob Taylor's, out on the Colerain road, we found 
what we were looking for. No turkeys surpassed Sheriff 
Bob's bronzed, strutting, bearded, and waddling gobblers. 

The Sheriff, a thick-set fellow, a yeoman in fact, standing 
firm in his shoes, had a head full of common sense, and, since 
he was soon to preside over the County Court and his honesty 
and directness are characteristic of our middle classes, I will 
record an incident which I witnessed. A case, the larceny 
of a pig, was up for trial and Father was prosecuting, and his 
nephew, Duncan, defended. The defense was that the negro 
prisoner mistook the pig for his own. There was therefore 




WINSTON OF BERTIE 





SHEPHERD, His JESTER 



LUCY, His FAITHFUL SLAVE 



THE OF 57 

no felonious intent. In rebuttal, Father offered a witness to 
show that this plea was a sham, resorted to on a former occa- 
sion by the prisoner* who owned one old barren sow, which 
he claimed had littered numerous pigs, used, when necessary, 
as an excuse for stealing from his neighbors. The defense 
objected to this evidence, insisting it was hearsay. "Not at 
all,'* said Father. "It shows the guilty knowledge, the 



srienter? 



The argument waxed hot and hotter, Father urging that 
the testimony was competent and the defendant's attorney 
insisting it was not. At length the puzzled court announced 
an adjournment for dinner, when the judges, Sheriff Bob and 
two other farmers, would consider the pint and rule on it. 
At two o'clock court reconvened and all ears were erect for 
Sheriff Bob's ruling. "Well, gents, the court is ready to 
rule," the presiding officer sagely remarked. "Old Man Pat 
he says the evidence is competent and Duncan he says it 
'tain't. So the court rules there is a lie out summers!" 

In a few days Brother Pat and bride arrived, on the little 
steamer Kalula from Plymouth, and we were delighted with 
our new relative, a lovely, adaptable woman and a real addi- 
tion to the family circle. Soon, the bride and groom visited 
our kinspeople, and, during a stay of weeks in a critical 
environment, so considerate was my new sister that she 
committed but one faux pas. At a rather formal two o'clock 
dinner, out at Uncle Tayloe's, luscious apple dumplings were 
served, which Sister Jennie refused. She mistook them for 
corn bread, an insipid dish she could never quite go. 

Sometimes Brother Pat would tease his handsome young 
bride, but never in the presence of Father. When with such 
daredevil fellows as Ned Outlaw, Jim Bond, or Bill Capehart, 
he would proceed to explain how he came to marry a rich 
Yankee. "You see," he would roar, looking very serious and 
never cracking a smile, "the damn Yankees they set my 
negroes free and so I married one of them to get even" a 



58 THE BERSERKS OF BERTIE 

joke which no one enjoyed more than Sister Jennie, and 
which was quite characteristic of the paradoxes for which 
Brother was noted. In truth he was generous to liberality 
and liberal to prodigalityreally the most free-handed 
human being I ever knew, money slipping through his fin- 
gers like water through a sieve. 

Captain Outlaw, who knew Brother better than almost 
anyone, used to tell a story, depicting truly his unorganized 
and untamed nature in contrast to my prudent and conserva- 
tive manner of life. "Once," said the Captain, "Old Man 
Pat gave his sons, Pat and Bob, a keg of roe herring apiece. 
Pat sold his fish on credit for $12.00, and never collected a 
cent. Bob sold his for $3.00, and got the money! Pat is now 
poor and Bob is rich" a conclusion which requires a grain 
of salt! 

During this visit of my brothers, Grant was President and 
had agreed, as was said, to furnish Governor Holden with 
troops to reconstruct the state and give the Republican party 
and the negroes control, but failed to comply with his prom- 
ise. At all events the Governor went forward in his foolish 
and wicked course. He suspended the writ of habeas corpus, 
over-rode the civil courts and declared martial law. He put 
Shotwell and our old friend Turner and other patriots in jail. 
In a word he created conditions bad beyond words to de- 
scribe or imagination to conceive. 

And yet I must admit that I do not remember one syllable 
of this political revolution, nor do I recall the discharge of 
Turner by the brave, and greatly beloved, Judge Brooks. It 
seems strange that I am able to remember a dance at Windsor 
Castle, when I, a bashful ten-year-old chap, was hauled out 
from my hiding place under Mother's bed to make up a set, 
but, for the life of me, cannot remember the greatest up- 
heaval of the age the conviction of a Governor for high 
crimes and misdemeanors, the first and only time such official 
was successfully impeached, convicted and put out of office. 



CHAPTER VI 
OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOOL 

IN the iSyo's the two classical schools in our state were 
Bingham's and Homer's, the one in Orange County, the 
other in Granville. And all good, patriotic Tar Heels were 
sure they were the equals of Rugby and Eton! Walter Page 
and his brothers we never called him Walter Hines Page ia 
those days attended the former and the Winston boys were 
pupils of the latter. In a crude, intemperate, and poorly con- 
structed novel, called The Southerner ' y Page has drawn a true 
picture of the Bingham school, making caste and Civil War 
memories its dominating factors. In colors quite as pictur- 
esque, Brother George depicted, in the University magazine, 
his old teacher, James H. Horner. 

That the schools were similar in methods of instruction 
will appear from an incident which I witnessed at the centen- 
nial of the University. Colonel Bingham was speaking and 
had gone but a short way in his address when he espied his 
rival. Pausing, he said, "I see before me the Nestor of North 
Carolina's school-teachers and it ill becomes me to speak in 
the presence of James H. Horner." As Bingham took his 
seat the applause was generous and there were calls for 
Horner. That wonderful teacher then rose six feet four 
inches and, as bashfully as a school boy, declared his friend 
had overrated him. He must confess that such success as he 
had attained was due to his early training under his friend's 
father. 

The first question asked me was, "How many senses have 
you?" I was stumbling along, naming one or two of them, 
such as feeling and smelling, when Old Man Jim, as we called 

59 



60 OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOOL 

him, broke In, "No, sir, you have five senses seeing, hearing, 
feeling, tasting, and smelling." These words were rattled off 
at a great rate and we were told that if we did not know a 
thing in its order we did not know it at all; seeing was the 
most essential and smelling the least essential, and the senses 
must be named in their natural order. 

After a while we took up Latin and the same methodical 
course was followed. "How many conjugations are there?" 
we would be asked. The answer was, four. "How do you 
distinguish them?" "By the termination of the present infini- 
tive." "That's right, sir. Now give the terminations." "The 
first has a long before re making are, the second e long before 
re making ere, the third e short before re making ere, and the 
fourth i long before re making ire? After this formula had 
been repeated, a hundred times perhaps, we could spot the 
conjugation of a verb in the dark! Now, in cold print, all 
this may sound dull and far away, but under the master's 
magnetic methods, it was far otherwise. 

Every boy was on tip-toes, popping his fingers and eager 
to tackle the questions fired at the class. Cutting up and 
down, or tripping, was the rule; and as a question would start 
and be missed and Old Man Jim would call out, "Next, 
next!" shaking his long index finger at each pupil till prob- 
ably boy No. 25, sitting at the very tail end, would guess the 
answer and go all the way to the head, the excitement would 
equal a horse race. 

"How many parts of speech are there?" he would ask. 
"Five parts," boy No. i would answer. "Next, next!" 
"Four," No. 2 would venture. "Next, next, next!" Then, 
perhaps boy No. 10 would say, "There are five parts of 
speech and three particles." "Right, sir, take 'em down." 
Protest as we would that No. i had answered correctly 
when he said there were five parts of speech, we got nowhere. 
"There are five parts of speech and three particles," would 
be the ipse dixit: "Noun, pronoun, verb, adjective and ad- 



OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOOL 61 

verb; and, preposition, conjunction, and interjection." Thus 
we were taught to be methodical. The rules we must know 
as written, and the definitions we must not only commit but 
absorb. Never, never to be forgotten, or stumbled over. 

A distinguishing feature of the school was its system of 
reviews. The first four days of the week were given to a 
drilling process, a hammering of knowledge into our young, 
untrained minds. Then came Friday, a unique day. Friday 
was review day; on that day not one step did we advance, we 
simply went over the work of the four preceding days. If, 
during that time, we had read four chapters of Caesar, on 
Friday we re-read them. We construed every idiom, de- 
clined every difficult noun, and conjugated the deponent 
verbs, just as we had done earlier in the week. This going- 
the-second-time over our lessons seemed to give us a firmer 
grip. Bingham's Grammar, and Andrews and Stoddard's, 
became as much a part of us as the multiplication table. In 
f act, the grammar was to the study of Latin what the multi- 
plication table was to mathematics so thoroughly inculcated 
that we were not conscious of the effort to remember it. 

Under this method of catapulting knowledge into oor 
heads, the dullest pupil would often surprise the class. A 
stupid boy in fact seemed to absorb the rules more com- 
pletely than a thoughtful lad, the process being mechanical, 
and a mere act of memory. The result may be judged when 
I say that, though it has been fifty years since I looked into a 
Latin grammar, I am now reproducing rules and forms just 
as I learned them in the 'yo's. That I am able to do this seems 
a phenomenon worthy of note. Nor is my Latin exceptional 
in arithmetic the same condition prevails. 

In order to get the multiplier, in calculating interest at 6 
per cent, we had the following rule: "Multiply the number 
of years by .06; denote the months by hundredths and divide 
by 2; denote the days by thousandths and divide by 6, and 
add these figures together; the sum will be the multiplier." 



62 OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOOL 

Let us suppose a note was for $5000 and bore 6 per cent 
interest and had been running two years, four months, and 
six days. The interest due would be $700.50, that is $5000 
multiplied by .141. These figures, .141, are the sum of .12 
for the years; .02 for the months; and .001 for the days. 
Now this rule lay dormant with me for full twenty years, 
when business required me to work an example in partial 
payments, and then, without referring to any arithmetic, I 
made the calculation. The rules had come back to me and I 
could apply them just as in 1872. 

I recently laid these facts before a psychologist and asked 
him to explain them. He replied that the explanation was 
not difficult. In childhood a habit, based on some modifica- 
tion of the nervous system, had been developed and fixed. 
This habit lay dormant until a stimulating situation appeared 
and produced a response. 

One peculiarity of Homer's method impressed me: He did 
not insist upon a reason. He seemed to think a lad of eight- 
een, or under, incapable of reasoning. He was content to 
store the youngster's mind with knowledge, which in due 
time would be applied. This idea, I have since discovered, 
was entertained by Lord Bacon, who declared that a wise 
questioning is the half-way towards knowledge. 

I have no decided opinion as to the wisdom of Old Man 
Jim's empirical method and yet it must be said it produced 
results. From the small class of about twenty boys, to which 
I belonged, there went forth two bishops, a judge, the presi- 
dent of a well-conducted bank, a wealthy cotton manufac- 
turer, several successful planters, and the greatest commercial 
lawyer, perhaps, of the entire South. Surely, schools and 
colleges have traveled a long way in these sixty years from 
the old day of absolute obedience to authority to the new 
day, when no curriculum will work unless submitted to the 
students and approved by them. 

I do not think the Bingham-Horner method was adapted 



OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOOL 65 

to advanced students, being mechanical and lacking in imag- 
ination. And yet here again it must not be forgotten that 
Bingham's pupil, Walter Page, and his son Robert, each was 
the ambassador to Great Britain; and Homer's son, Junks, 
was a bishop. Undoubtedly Colonel Binghain and Captain 
Homer were lacking in imagination, being mere drill masters, 
a quality acquired by them when officers in Lee's army. But 
who shall say they were in error and that an immature chid 
is capable of making a wise choice or of self -discipline? 

In the matter of games and sports there is a difference be- 
tween my school days and the present. Today an expert is 
required to teach the boys how to play; in my day the trou- 
ble was to keep the boys from playing! We simply lived in 
the open. All day long Saturday we played baseball on the 
Green, and on Sunday, after the church hour, we roamed the 
woods and climbed the trees in search of muscadine grapes 
and black haws and bird eggs. Never a warm day but we 
went swimming; never a freeze, but we went skating. 

In fact the most doleful sound that ever smote upon our 
ears was the cry, "Faculty!" ending our sports and announc- 
ing the approach of our teachers Old Man Jim, swinging 
along in a well-worn beaver; Old Man Baldy Graves, asso- 
ciate principal, a Presbyterian elder, stiff and formal, in his 
long, broad-cloth coat; and tutor Fishburn, fresh from col- 
lege, prim and dapper. At the sound of "Faculty," town ball 
and chirminy terminated, bats and balls were thrown aside 
and we reluctantly filed into the old academy, situated in a 
large oak grove, at the brow of a hill, at whose foot was a 
gushing spring of the purest and coldest water. 

Fishing Creek flowed near the academy and at one place 
the waters narrowed and were eight or ten feet deep. Tradi- 
tion had it that a man named Pulliam had been drowned 
when diving from a tall rock overhanging the pool. This 
circumstance had given the name to the place. In the sum- 
mer Pulliam's was our swimming hole, in winter our skating 



64 OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOOL 

pond. Though the winters, in those days, were no colder 
than at present and the summers no hotter, the weather was 
more uniform. Oftentimes we had a full week of good skat- 
ing, Pulliam's becoming a solid mass of ice. 

Let the pond freeze over, and we boys would be all a-flut- 
ter. The academy grounds would resound with loud cries 
of "Holiday, holiday!" A petition would be circulated and 
signed and handed up to the faculty. Rarely was a holiday 
refused. Then a hundred happy schoolboys would join the 
town people, old and young, male and female, and scamper 
out to the banks of Fishing Creek, and construct huts of 
cedar and pine boughs. Cooking, eating and sleeping and 
never thinking of returning until the ice had begun to rot 
and many a skater immersed in the icy waters of Pulliam's 
Hole. 

But there were other holidays: Tuesdays of Court week 
and public speakings, for example. Whenever an exciting 
case came on for trial the courtroom would be filled with 
spectators and we boys would be honored with seats on the 
bench, beside the Judge. Though the state was Republican, 
from governor to constable, yet the judges were partial to 
Horner boys, doubtless due to the fact that Richmond Pear- 
son, later a congressman and also ambassador to Persia, a son 
of Chief Justice Pearson, was a student at our school. Now 
some of the judges were competent officials, but others were 
the reverse. I remember one of the latter class, Judge Watts, 
so ignorant of law and so slovenly in dress that Turner's 
Sentinel dubbed him Greasy Sam. 

An incident in Watts' court which occurred while I was a 
student at Homer's will illustrate the demoralization of the 
bench. A Ku Klux case was on trial. The defendants were 
Dr. Sam Booth and others. Excitement ran high, as the Doc- 
tor was a great favorite and the leader of the regulators. And 
his fate seemed sealed, though he had employed the ablest 
Democratic lawyers and had retained Colonel Hargrove, a 



OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOOL 65 

Republican of great influence. Two or three witnesses testi- 
fied that they recognized the Doctor at 12 o'clock on the 
night in question. He was on horseback at the head of a 
group of hooded men, riding through the village of Knapp of 
Reeds. Other witnesses swore to acts of lawlessness. 

At this stage of the case, and when conviction seemed cer- 
tain, a venerable negro, benevolent in appearance and with 
white locks, came forward as a witness for the defense. He 
gave his name as Tom Booth. Tom was examined by Colo- 
nel Hargrove, and, after a guess at his age, stated that he was 
once a slave and Dr. Sam, the defendant, had been his young 
master. He then proceeded to state that on the occasion in 
question he and Marse Sam were ten miles away from the 
village of Knapp of Reeds, 'possum hunting all night long 00 
Beaver Dam Creek. 

"Did you catch the 'possum, Tom?" the Colonel asked, to 
break the tension. "We sho did, boss man," said old Tom* 
as he threw out a wad of tobacco, "and hit was the leastest 
'possum I ever seen." 

Just here the Judge became interested, and took a hand. 
"Witness," he asked, "did I understand you to say it was a 
very small 'possum?" 

"Hit sho was, boss," and Tom bowed his politest bow. 

"And what sort of a tree was it up?" 

"Well, boss, hit was mighty nigh the biggest gum I ever 



seen." 



' "Mr. Solicitor," said His Honor, with due gravity, as he 
dipped his pen in the ink and began to write on the docket, 
"you had just as well take a noL pros., in this case, that old 
man is evidently telling the truth. I am a 'possum hunter 
myself, and I know the smallest 'possums always take to the 
tallest trees!" 

Many years after this incident, and when I myself had be- 
come a lawyer and was practicing at Oxford, I asked Dr. 
Booth if old man Tom was telling the truth or if he merely 



66 OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOOL 

substituted one night of 'possum hunting for another. 
"Don't press me!" the Doctor laughed. 
1 As we boys sat on the bench by the side of Judge Watts 
we were more engrossed in the cartoons he drew than in the 
court proceedings. The lawyers, one by one, would rise to 
address the jury and the Judge would take out his pencil and 
sketch them, distorting their noses and mouths and passing 
the caricatures over to us to laugh at and admire! In such 
circumstances it has always been a surprise to me that the 
Judge got along as well as he did. In truth, the last day of 
his court was a great farce. 

During the term he had given offense to an irascible law- 
yer, Colonel Lee Edwards, as sharp-tongued an individual as 
John Randolph or Horace Walpole, and quite as dramatic 
and whimsical. Now the Colonel determined to get even 
with the Judge, and this he proceeded to do in the following 
manner. Judge Watts had directed the sheriff to adjourn 
court, and that officer had made the usual announcement, 
"Oyez, Oyez, Oyez, this Honorable Court now stands ad- 
journed for the term," whereupon the Colonel rose to his 
feet and sneered, "Did I understand Your Honor to announce 
that this Honorable Court had adjourned sine die?" "You 
did, Colonel Edwards," said the Judge. "Well, may God 
Almighty never again afflict this community with the likes 
of Your Honor." Whereupon His Honor reconvened the 
court and adjudged the Colonel in contempt and gave him 
five hours in jail! It took the influence of the entire bar to 
prevent the enforcement of the sentence. 

But the courthouse, with all its diversions, did not interest 
us as much as speeches from the stump. I wish indeed I had 
the power to describe an incident characteristic of the times. 
The political campaign in Granville was in full swing, crowds 
of whites and blacks attending the speakings. Colonel Ed- 
wards, the exquisite above referred to, was a candidate for 
the legislature; his opponent, a small, coal-black, good- 



OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOOL 67 

natured negro, named Cuffee Mayo, once a slave 

to the Edwards family. Though the canvass was not joint, 

opposing candidates often asked questions. 

When the Colonel, immaculate in his wardrobe, took the 
stump, he told of the stealings and corruption of the Repub- 
lican party, its doings stinking to high heaven, so the 
man in the moon had to hold his nose! u My fellow citizens," 
he exclaimed, in his shrill, sharp, piping voice, "take this case: 
There is a privy on the capitol grounds at Raleigh and it be- 
came necessary to cleanse it. Now, what sum, think you, 
did the Republican legislature vote for that purpose? 
(A pause.) Two-thousand-four-hundred-and-fifty-six-dol- 
lars-and-twenty-five cents! Yes, fellow citizens, I repeat, 
two-thousand-four-hundred-and-fifty-six-dollars-and-twenty- 
five cents/' 

Just here Cuffee rose and, in the most artless manner as if 
merely seeking information said, "Marse Lee, mought I ZK 
you a question?" 

"Certainly, Cuffee, any question you like." 

"Well now, Marse Lee, if dat was too much, what would 
you have done it for?" Cuffee was elected by a handsome 
majority! 

The absurd and ridiculous Greeley campaign came off 
while I was a schoolboy. This fiasco old Horace Greeley, 
abolitionist and corner-stone of the Republican party leading 
the Democracy furnished Thomas Nast, I feel sure, the idea 
of cartooning the Democratic party as a donkey! 

And the campaign which followed Greeley's nomination 
was as silly as the nomination itself. Negro orators were 
hired to champion Greeley's cause. I remember the two 
colored men who came to Oxford and spoke, the one, short, 
fat and black, the other, tall, slim and yellow. And while 
they were speaking the incongruousness of the performance 
provoked jeers and laughter from blacks and whites alike. 
Many Confederate soldiers voted for General Grant, prefer- 



68 OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOOL 

ring a brave, open foe to a secret one. Undoubtedly, the 
reason Southern politicians nominated Greeley was his sign- 
ing Jefferson Davis' bail bond and releasing the Confederate 
President from prison. 

At this time a negro, named Hanson Hughes, represented 
GranvUle in the state Senate and another colored man, Wil- 
liam Crews, was serving in the House. These men were 
speakers of force, using words of one syllable and sentences 
so short and pithy as to remind one of the Indian chief, Red 
Cloud. Just here I will anticipate events and say that Hughes 
became a trial justice and presided over the courts in which 
I afterwards practiced. Crews was elected deputy sheriff. 
But, in the course of rime, as we shall see, negroes were elim- 
inated from politics and Hughes and Crews became statesmen 
out of a job. 

Now Hughes was an expert barber, and therefore was not 
injured by the loss of office, but Crews had neither profession 
nor trade so that he and his family narrowly escaped the 
poorhouse. This misfortune bore heavily upon him, since his 
children were unwilling to work in the corn-field and noth- 
ing else was open to them. In after years, when Crews was 
despondent and friction between the races acute, he came 
into my office and bewailed his lot. He saw no future for 
his race. Said he to me, "Gladly would I die if my death 
would give my people a chance." And yet William Crews' 
life had its bright spots, as a little incident will show. 

He and another colored man, Enoch Arrington, prevailed 
on a white man, named Bullock, to purchase a small store for 
them and take title in his name till they could pay for it. 
Under this agreement several payments were made and all 
went well till the property began to advance in value. Then 
the negroes raised the balance due and tendered it and de- 
manded a deed. This, Bullock refused, claiming they had 
been paying rent and not purchase money. When the col- 
ored men employed me I set out all the facts and contended 



OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOOL 69 

that Bullock was a mere trustee. Under the Judge's charge, 
the jury decided with Crews and Arlington and gave 
the property. 

Returning to my school days I must say that as they were 
drawing to a close I looked back upon them with satisfaction. 
Though my range of knowledge was limited, confined to 
Latin, Greek, and mathematics, and I was not a scholar, in 
any sense of the word, I had been kept busy and had 
through the dangerous period of life fairly well. I cannot 
agree with Bertrand Russell that the sex impulse is so absorb- 
ing that there is no escape except to quarter eighteen-year-old 
schoolboys and girls in the same bedroom. Such a course 
would result, I fear, in a barn-yard philosophy. My experi- 
ence is that, with the aid of study and play and the keeping 
of one's mind off one's self, the normal boy can maintain 
himself fairly decent against the climax of all happiness, the 
old-fashioned bridal chamber. 

When I told niy schoolmates good-by and went down to 
Windsor I found the entire family there gathered. Brother 
George, having graduated at Cornell and taught there while 
Waite was Ambassador to Greece, was now at home study- 
ing law; Brother Frank had returned from Cornell and was 
on a vacation; Brother Pat's recent career had been a dis- 
appointment to Father. In truth, our oldest brother was so 
much his favorite, and so far excelled the rest of us, that we 
were but dust in the balance. 

In the late campaign he and Horace Greeley had canvassed 
Pennsylvania from the same stump and had become as inti- 
mate as an old person and a young one can well be. On the 
night of Greeley's overwhelming defeat Brother was sitting, 
sad, dejected and alone, on the bridge over the river at Pitts- 
burgh, when he heard shouting, huzzaing and music. Soon 
a wildly cheering crowd came marching by, celebrating the 
downfall of Horace Greeley. Miller, Brother's father-in- 
law, was leading the van! In a short while Brother gave up 



70 OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOOL 

his position in Miller's office and returned to Windsor, where 
he practiced law and published a newspaper called the Albe- 
mmrle Tmes. 

The months between my school and college days were use- 
ful. A portion of the time I recited to Brother George and, 
for sixty days, we were the only white persons at our fishery. 
Early in January he and I, with Sid Stone, our old slave, and 
Ruffin Cofield, went down to Terrapin Point to get the fish- 
ery in order. We set out from Windsor in a bateau, loaded 
with flour, meal, meat, molasses, butter, eggs, chickens, and 
what not, the negroes at the oars and Brother and I the skip- 
pers. 

Our route lay down the Cashie River, which parallels the 
Roanoke and is so close to it that here and there the two 
streams have broken into each other and formed passage- 
ways, the largest of these called Horse Thoroughfare. About 
dark we reached the wide waters where the Cashie debouches 
into Albemarle Sound. In front of us stretched that beauti- 
ful sheet of water. A few miles away was Roanoke light- 
house. An east wind had risen blowing dead ahead and im- 
peding our progress. Once or twice we were forced to land 
in the swamp opposite the fishery. At length, about 10 
o'clock we made Terrapin Point, and, having kindled a fire 
and cooked supper, knocked up a bunk and slept the sleep 
of the honest toiler. 

During the next two months no living soul was at the fish- 
ery except Brother and me and the two colored men. And 
what a wilderness Terrapin Point was! The tip end of a 
pocosin of hundreds of acres of peet and marsh a loblolly 
infested with bears, raccoons, moccasin snakes and other 
varmints, and almost surrounded by water. No road, or 
other entrance or exit except by boat. Yet, despite these un- 
toward surroundings, my days, as Christopher North would 
say, were boreales, and my nights ambrosianae. Brother and 
I slept in the same bed, ate out of the same skillet, were 



OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOG'L 71 

warmed at the same hearth, and toiled at the job. We 

reshingled the seine-haulers' houses, constructed platforms* 
adjusted windlasses for hauling the seine, and did all other 
things necessary for the stupendous task of catching, icing, 
salting, saving and selling millions upon millions of herring* 
shad, perch, sturgeon, rock, cat, and other fresh-water fish. 
We likewise built a causeway over which covered wagons 
might pass to and fro. And, as we laid down the poles for 
the bed, old Andrew, an up-the-country negro well ac- 
quainted with sure-enough railroads, would snicker and dub 
it a down-the-country railroad, and crow over Ruffin who 
had never seen the genuine article. Jovial, often half drunk, 
Andrew would lay aside his mattock and tell Ruffin what a 
real "bullgine" was like. "Chew-e-chew, n he would begin, 
slow and easy, then faster and faster would go "chew-e- 
chew, chew-e-chew," imitating the engine. And when the 
great iron horse got under full steam the old man would 
shake and tremble and shed tears of joy as he thought of 
slavery days and the mail engine, Chockoyotte, dashing across 
Tar River bridge at Springfield. In an ecstasy of delight, he 
would dance and croon the song of the roaring engine. 

Franklin County catch a nigger- 
patch his britches- 
Franklin County catch a nigger- 
patch his britches. 

Over this corduroy road Washington Duke once traveled 
in a covered wagon loaded with manufactured tobacco. And 
after he had exchanged his products for Father's herring, and 
swapped the fish for fresh pork and sold the pork for cash, 
he discovered that he had such profits in his pocket and was 
so rich he could give his three sons a rare treat. He therefore 
bought and took home a bucket of brown sugar and told the 
boys to pitch in and help themselves. After a while, when 
the old gentleman passed through the room, one of the lads 



72 OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOOL 

spoke up and said, "Daddy, somebody's cheated you in this 
sugar, the bottom ain't half as good as the top!" Now, this 
discriminating youngster was not unknown to fame, being 
none other than James B. Duke, tobacco king, founder of 
Duke University and perhaps in his day the richest man in 
the world. 

It was down at Terrapin Point that Brother George first 
opened my eyes to the vastness and complexity of life and 
impressed the necessity of intellectual honesty a task for 
which he was not unfitted. At the Naval Academy he had 
stood Number i in his class. At Cornell he had graduated 
with distinction. I may state that he resigned from the Navy 
on account of nausea, which malady, on a lengthy cruise, 
would undoubtedly have caused his death had not the Captain 
taken him in his own state-room. 

During the long winter nights he would tell me of his trip 
to Europe and the beauty of Paris, and the gardens and vine- 
yards of rural France. I recall that Robinson, Colonel Roose- 
velt's brother-in-law, was on the ship with Brother, and Fox 
and Gait and Dockery and Winston constituted one mess. 
I also remember a wonderful pen-staff of ivory, which 
Brother brought home. In the handle was a kaleidoscopic 
picture of the Prince Imperial during the Franco-Prussian 
War passing through his "baptism of fire" the young prince 
astride a white stallion pony and cutting a graceful figure. 

Two or three times a week Sid and Ruffin would paddle a 
canoe to Plymouth, where Lieutenant Gushing blew up the 
ram Albemarle, and fetch back the mail, -and lay in provi- 
sions. On the return they would sometimes bring a dainty 
box, filled with maple sugar and addressed in a woman's hand, 
suggestive of a wedding shortly to follow. And when night 
came on Brother and I would crawl over into our feather bed 
and lie side by side, and, as the wind whistled through the 
chinks of our cabin and lashed the waves against the sleepers, 
he would tell me of his plans. He intended to become a New 



OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOOL 73 

York lawyer, and finally to retire to a country home up the 
Hudson a home for him and for me. In dreamland I would 
fall asleep. 

But now spring has opened up. Redbkds have lit on the 
cypress knees and are bidding us, "Cheer-up, cheer-up! 19 
Shad and herring are running. The keen-eyed gull is diving 
down and seizing a speckled perch, and is off for its eyrie, 
but is overtaken and robbed by the bald eagle. The fishing 
season is upon us. Scor.es of negroes, care-free and good- 
natured, arriving. Steamers, filled with coarse salt, and tons 
of ice, bellow out towards Roanoke Light. Seine and rope 
and toggle lines and staffs are piled on the fishing boats. All 
is in readiness for the first haul. 

"Well, Melton," Father cheerfully calls to Weston Melton, 
the solemn, copper-colored captain of the beach, "do you 
think we can shoot her this morning?" 

"Yes, boss, I'm a-hopesin we can, sir." 

And then the two boats, loaded with seine and lashed stern 
to stern, rush out a mile or more and separate, and spin off 
their contents rainbow-shape, as they race back to the shore. 
On the seaboat, old Andrew pulls the stroke oar, and Lymus 
Roulhac, the bow the rhythm of their oars as harmonious as 
nature herself. And as the seaboat shoots homeward, pro- 
pelled by eight sturdy negroes, the air resounds with the wild, 

barbaric notes: ^ , - 

Row the boat ashore 

Hog-eye, hog-eye, 
Row the boat ashore 
Hog-eye, Man! 

And of all the people at the Point I guess I must have been 
the most popular I dispensed the liquors! Every second 
hour I would take my stand at the cutting bench, with a gal- 
Ion pot of corn whiskey in one hand and a horn in the other, 
this vessel being a real cow's horn and having a cork bottom, 



74 OLD MAN JIM AND HIS SCHOOL 

sed f I suppose, because it was in harmony with the wild 
surroundings. 

In May Father's birthday came. This event was celebrated 
by the hands with two horns of whiskey instead of one, as 
was the case whenever a sturgeon was caught. This fish is 
unique. It may weigh three or four hundred pounds, and 
has a nose of India rubber. Its mouth, like a mullet's, is 
wholly without teeth. Its fins are rough and as wide as a 
shingle. The sturgeon's strength is in its tail, a flap of which 
will break one's leg. So powerful is this fish that it cannot 
be landed on the beach but must be hooked and dragged out 
of the water this hooking process being a delicate one. Woe 
betide the unfortunate who hooks a sturgeon in the tail in- 
stead of the body! 

Nothing amused the veteran seine haulers so much as to 
watch a greenhorn attempt to hook a full-grown sturgeon. 
Let the keen eye of Captain Melton discover the corkline 
under water and he would shout, "Sturgeon! Sturgeon!" 
And then the old-timers would inveigle some land-lubber to 
go out in a boat and hook the big fish. Pretty soon the stur- 
geon would stir and "Thump!" the hook would sound land- 
ing squarely in its tail Overboard would plunge man and 
hook, as the beach screamed and roared with laughter. 

A piney-woods negro once hooked a sturgeon, in the 
wrong way, and was jerked overboard, and out to sea he 
went, sometimes above water and sometimes below. "Tell 
Hannah!' 7 the victim screamed as he came up, holding on for 
dear life. Then, down he went again, but presently came to 
the surface. "Tell Hannah!" he spluttered Hannah being 
his woman, of course. This grotesque story, characteristic 
of the childlike negroes the more improbable an incident the 
more its appeal became a Terrapin Point tradition. A stur- 
geon was never hooked without the refrain, "Tell Hannah!" 



CHAPTER VII 
GIVE THE HEATHEN A CHANCE 

MY dream of a home on the Hudson did not come true, as 
something happened that changed the course of events. Soon 
after the fishing season Brother George was elected professor 
in the University of North Carolina and Chapel Hill became 
the Mecca of our family. The manner of his selection is 
characteristic and illustrates the exiguity of the educational 
system. 

In 1868, David L. Swain, the awkward and much-beloved 
mountaineer from Buncombe, who had successfully con- 
ducted the University for a quarter of a century, was turned 
out by the Radicals and the college thrown open to whites 
and blacks alike. Under these conditions the institution 
floundered along for two or three years and then collapsed. 
An interregnum followed when the church colleges not only 
flourished but insisted there was no need of a university since 
they were supplying the necessary educational advantages. 
But in 1875 the friends of Chapel Hill, including a few lib- 
eral Republicans, arranged to reopen the venerable seat of 
learning. 

When the trustees met to set the wheels in motion a sense 
of caution overcame them. Would the state support a uni- 
versity, and how could the denominational colleges be ap- 
peased? To meet these difficulties the Board went cautiously 
about the task of selecting a faculty and distributing the 
patronage. A pious, lovable Methodist preacher, wholly 
innocent of modern philosophy, was chosen professor of that 
department; a venerable Presbyterian elder, once a power in 
the school room, but now worn with age and gout, was called 

75 



76 GIVE THE HEATHEN A CHANCE 

to the chair of mathematics. A pugnacious Baptist minister, 
with the gift of popular oratory, but scarcely able to tell the 
difference between an oxy-hydrogen blowpipe and a centi- 
grade thermometer, became the professor of chemistry; one 
of the most delightful of gentlemen, a cultured Episcopal lay- 
reader, landed the professorship of Greek. 

At this point in the proceedings Colonel David Miller 
Carter, stem, f earless and level-headed, a stout, thick-set man 
with a round, freckled face, stiff, reddish hair and bristly, 
short-cropped beard, rose to address his fellow trustees. "Mr. 
Chairman, 1 ' he growled, "I note with interest that we have 
chosen a Methodist preacher, a Baptist preacher, a Presby- 
terian preacher and an Episcopal lay-reader, but we have 
totally neglected the heathen. This omission should be sup- 
plied. I therefore rise to place in nomination for the depart- 
ment of Latin, George T. Winston." The motion prevailed, 
and Winston and Graves became the only members of the 
faculty with a touch of modern culture and some knowledge 
of modem methods. 

Battle's History of the University of North Carolina draws 
a picture of the re-opening of the institution and features an 
apocryphal contest between three new students for the honor 
of being the first to matriculate. "My readers are in a state 
of anxiety, no doubt," it declares, "to know the name of the 
first student, the Hinton James, of the nineteenth century. 
I am glad to be able to crown him with honor. I am proud 
to set him on the pinnacle of fame. The glory belongs to the 
elder of two brothers, who, with Charles Bond, preceded all 
other candidates by a day's journey. When their conveyance 
reached the boundary line of Chapel Hill the elder brother 
suddenly leaped from the vehicle and dashed forward with 
the amazing speed for which duck-legged youths are often 
famous. Shouting, 'Hurrah! I am the first student on the 
Hilt,' he reversed the history of Esau and Jacob. Esau was 



GIVE HEATHEN A CHANCE 7? 

ahead this time. The unsuspecting Jacob (Hebrew for 
Robert) had no time to offer his mess of 

"When I tell you that this long-headed, if short-legged, 
youth went to the legislature, with about one ma- 

jority against his party, intent on looking out for the 
of his Alma Mater, it will be guessed that his is Francis 

Donnell Winston, the Hinton James of 1875. The youth, 
Robert, thus out-generaled, had his share of the blood of the 
old Scandinavian Vikings, however. After great searchings 
of the heart he devised his scheme and bided his rime; It 
a signal and a cruel revenge. Frank's Nemesis came when 
there appeared to receive the silver cup for the first boy baby 
of the Class of 1879, James Homer Winston, son of Robert." 

The question is often asked, "Why, of late years, has 
North Carolina forged ahead of her Southern sisters?" The 
answer must be, I conclude, "Because of her University" an 
institution which has led the commonwealth in education, 
rural development, industry and widespread culture. Soon 
after the war Georgia was the Empire State of the South, so 
far had she surpassed all her sisters. As for Virgink-^eHght- 
ful Mother of States and Statesmen she once greatly out- 
stripped North Carolina. Indeed the Old North State was 
content to play second fiddle in the Old Dominion orchestra. 
But today this is changed. North. Carolina overtops her 
neighbors in an enlarged social outlook, in popular education, 
in manufactured goods, in the value of crops raised, and in 
good roads. 

Another query may be pertinent, "How conld such mo- 
mentous results flow from an institution so poorly equipped?" 
This question I am unable fully to answer. In September, 
1875, when I entered the University, it was in no sense what 
its name implied. There were only seven teachers and fifty 
odd students, and the physical plant was poor to poverty. 
But there was much more to Chapel Hill than curriculum 
and classrooms. A manliness and a strength of character 



78 GIVE THE HEATHEN A CHANCE 

dominated the campus. We were Individualists; we did onr 
own thinking and were as jealous of our rights as our Revo- 
lutionary ancestors. Poverty, actual privation! We rose 
above them. We were the stem stuff that had corne out of a 
long, bloody civil war. 

I recall a characteristic incident soon after the college re- 
opened. Each Saturday morning it was the custom for the 
two literary societies to meet, and on the occasion in ques- 
tion, Peele, my classmate, had vacated his seat in the Phi Hall 
and gone on some errand. When he returned he found Nor- 
fleet, a large, powerful fellow, in his chair. Peele explained 
to the intruder that the seat was his and had been temporarily 
vacated. Norfleet refused to move and Peele warned him 
that they would settle the matter outside. As soon as the 
society adjourned Peele, a smaller chap than Norfleet, ap- 
proached and said, "Defend yourself, sir." 

Fifty of us gathered in front of the Old East, the oldest 
state-college building in America, to witness the contest, that 
bright October day. And fair and square it was. Nothing 
unsportsmanlike, no slugging or hitting beneath the belt. No 
time out for rest or for sponging off blood and grime. Just 
an incessant pommeling, blow upon blow, in the face and in 
the ribs, for full twenty minutes. Bleeding and exhausted, 
Norfleet surrendered. No one ever again usurped Peek's 
seat! Yet, Billie Peele was in no sense a bully. Modest, 
studious, almost a recluse, the young fellow was respected by 
all and soon became president of our class, and in after years 
a historian and antiquarian of note. Not the classroom but 
the campus course, I am confident, produced our leaders. 

In the old days the University had been caste-ridden, a 
condition characteristic of the entire South. In my day, the 
new University began to break these shackles. Manual labor 
was dignified, self-help students increased and poorer boys 
were paying their way, chopping wood, making fires, mow- 



GIVE THE HEATHEN A CHANCE 79 

ing lawns* and washing dishes. And, without loss of self- 
respect. 

Now I would not have it understood that I and ap- 

preciated the significance of my surroundings. I did not 
recognize the dynamic forces at work, I was too young to 
generalize or draw conclusions. I could not discover the 
forge from which should come so great wealth* I simply 
took things for granted. Shut up within, college walls, some- 
what undersize, I knew nothing of the world outside: The 
conflict between labor and capital, the child movement, the 
woman movement, the race issue, and the other agonizing 
agencies of humanity. 

I was content to blaze away at my Latin, Greek, and math- 
ematics. In a haphazard manner, I read all sorts of books. I 
was quite expert at baseball and the old-fashioned game 
called shinny. I swam in Morgan's Creek and was a frequenter 
of the lovely forests round about. Moreover my tastes were 
classical. Realism, I had no patience with it was common 
and vulgar. I fully concurred in Mother's characterization 
of Dickens. "I see enough of my cook and hostler every day 
in the year," she used to say, "without reading Charles 
Dickens." 

Our college was divided into two groups, designated by 
James as the tough-minded and the tender-minded. I found 
my place in the latter group. Johnson and Pope and Addison 
and Hume, these classical writers I read. My delight was in 
a well-turned phrase. I doted on the sonorous: Pitt's Reply 
to Walpole, The Seminole's Defiance, Macaulay's Trial of 
Warren Hastings, Emmet's Defense, Danton's Defiance of 
the Allied Monarchs. 

In secret there was considerable infidelity among the stu- 
dents, Voltaire and Ingersoll being favorites. Tom Paine's 
Common Sense was read, and much talked about. The 
youthful writer, Mark Twain, had numerous followers. 
Among the realists, Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer were 



80 GIVE THE HEATHEN A CHANCE 

household words. I regret that the romantic writers failed to 
attract me. Innocents Abroad had just come out and I dis- 
liked the book. It seemed to me Mark was trying to make 
me laugh and I refused to laugh under compulsion. This 
disrelish for realism and the common things of life, as I later 
discovered, was a mistake. But it took me many a year to 
understand that life is not compartmental; the wheat and tares 
must grow along together. 

During my first year the University had no president, but 
in 1876 K. P. Battle, an old Union Whig, was chosen. The 
name of Jefferson Davis had been discussed, but the trustees 
wisely refused to consider a reactionary. I became very fond 
of Mr. Battle. A real, gentle man, he would not needlessly 
tread on a worm. He had a large grasp of life; he knew how 
to give and take. A sterner person could not have filled so 
delicate a position. The situation called for a conciliator, a 
compromiser, and found it in "Pres. Battle." 

Very soon Brother George and Battle grew to be com- 
rades. In them extremes had met: Battle shrinking and con- 
ciliatory; Winston, the opposite, being, in Battle's words, "a 
bold spirit which feared nothing and was appalled by no 
obstacles." My brother became an understudy to the presi- 
dent and his shock-absorber, keeping order on the campus, 
waging controversies in the press, addressing clubs and assem- 
blies, pleading for universal education, bearding hostile reli- 
gious bodies^ and always taking the side of the poor and the 
neglected. 

At this time Brother was pursuing a course in law, expect- 
ing to leave the University. There was something narrow- 
ing in his surroundings, he felt. He was irked by the hang- 
over of the past: suppression of free speech and crystallization 
of religious thought. Not to be regular in religion or politics 
was to place one's self under suspicion. On his desk might 
be found the liberal papers of the day, Harpers Weekly, 
The Pasty and The N^W periodicals in disfavor with his 



GIVE A 81 

associates. In his library were the of 

Spencer's First Principles books* which he 
public sight. 

Once Walter Page arrived in the village and 
days in Brother's home, discussing a new movement to 
a Unitarian church at Charlotte, of which he was to 

be the preacher. Page explained that he intended, 
other things, to draw the two races together in greater inti- 
macy. Brother threw cold water on the project; it was pre- 
mature. During the conversation Brother lamented the fact 
that free speech was proscribed. "In private men say what 
they like," he told Page, "but not in public." Page wished 
to know why Brother attended a certain church. "I throw 
beef to the lions," was the answer. Presently Brother rose, 
and going to a drawer picked up a key, and walked over to a 
stout chest from which he fished out two or three proscribed 
books, Volney's Ruins of Empire, Arnold's Literature mid 
Dogma, and others. "These I keep under lock and key," he 
remarked. As a matter of fact I did not know of this con- 
versation until some years afterward when 1 read it in an 
address Page delivered at Mclver's Woman's College at 
Greensboro. 

Soon after I entered the University a revival of religion 
took place in the Baptist Church, Dr. Pritchard, one of the 
former graduates and an orator of moving eloquence, coming 
over to do the preaching. And so persuasive was the Doctor 
that, at the end of two weeks, he had stirred the community 
to the center and rounded up fifty or more converts, indud- 
ing half the students. Indeed those fourteen days had been a 
religious orgy. Stores were closed, recitations suspended, and 
Methodists, Presbyterians, and an occasional Episcopalian 
had co-operated with their Baptist brethren. 

And, until the last meeting, all went merry as a marriage 
bell. But on that last evening good fellowship took flight* 
The powerful evangelist launched into a controversial sub- 



82 GIVE THE HEATHEN A CHANCE 

ject. Taking his text from the Acts of the Apostles, "Repent 
and be baptized every one of you," the preacher lived up to 
his theme. He rubbed in the thought that repentance must 
precede baptism and could not follow it. One must repent 
before being baptized, and in order to repent one must be old 
enough to reason* It followed that infant baptism was ab- 
surdnot only absurd but a stumbling block. At the end of 
an hour the sect-intoxicated orator called upon all who would 
take Christ at his word and were willing to go down under 
the water with him, and be buried in baptism, to come for- 
ward to the mourners' bench. Up went the students, by tens 
and twenties, creating great embarrassment. What would 
become of those churches whose chief tenet was infant bap- 
tism, the Presbyterians, the Methodists and the Episcopalians? 

That night the bewildered pedo-Baptists conferred and 
sent out a call for Dr. Watkins, the eloquent Presbyterian 
divine in Raleigh. He must come at once, Pritchard must 
not go unanswered. The next day, Sunday, Watkins faced a 
fuU house and the entire student body. I can hear him now, 
earnest and devout, as he replied to the "uncalled-for attack" 
and the "presumptuous claims" of the revivalist. "Oh, God," 
he whispered, in soft melting tones, his hands raised heaven- 
ward, "may our Baptist brethren claim that they are the only 
church? Were the saints and martyrs who toiled and died 
in Thy cause men without a church, were they all wrong? 
Shall the evening star, up yonder in the sky, as it twinkles 
and sparkles, shall it say to the astral world round about, I, 
I am the only star in the firmament?" The Doctor's curl, as 
we boys called a nice rhetorical flourish, had the desired 
eifect. The mourners were parceled out equitably, that is 
per stirpeSy in accordance with the church affiliations of their 
respective parents. 

It is a strange thing that I took no part in this revival, or in 
Mrs. Moon's moving religious meetings which followed. 
Though I attended the services, I was but a looker-on. I was 



GIVE THE HEATHEN A 83 

not greatly stirred. In fact I did not get I do not 

claim credit for my attitude in this thing. Yet 1 do not cen- 
sure myself. I am not a demonstrative person. Early in life 
I discovered that I was but an old-fashioned fellow, 
tive but individual. Though I was moved by Southern 
prejudices, growing out of Appomattox, Reconstruction and 
the enfranchisement of the Negro, I was not overwrought. 
I realized that life is a matter of give and take. Nature never 
moves by leaps and bounds. "Here a little, there a little/* is 
nature's rule. And though I could not have formulated my 
creed I managed to live up to it. 

I therefore sat on the side lines, a spectator, and watched 
the surge of passion, the sweep of feeling as hundreds of pul- 
pits and stumps thundered. And this I did without condem- 
nation or cynicism. If I did not go up to the mourners' 
bench I did not ridicule those who did. Those crude at- 
tempts at human advancement interested me. And yet I must 
add this. Some of my college mates who took part in those 
meetings and went up to the mourners' bench did so in a 
spirit of devilment, as Voltaire did when he erected his chapel 
to God. For this mockery I will say that some of the stu- 
dents were dismissed. 

1 There was a mere handful of Republicans in college, the 
feeling against the Radical or "Negro party" being so bitter 
that the sons of wealthy Republicans went to Northern col- 
leges and the poorer boys remained away. A notable excep- 
tion was that of Robert Albertson. Though a Republican, 
Bob was respected, but soon after graduating felt out of 
place and moved far away to the Pacific coast where he 
became a useful judge. 

The case of Samuel Phillips is also in point. Phillips was a 
brother of our professor of mathematics, and of Cornelia 
Phillips Spencer, whom Vance pronounced not only the 
smartest woman in the state but the smartest man also! After 
the war Phillips joined the Republicans and was appointed 



g4 GIVE THE HEATHEN A CHANCE 

Solicitor General by Grant. In the political campaign of 
1876 I heard him address the people of Chapel Hill. He 
urged them to vote the Republican ticket from constable to 
President. 

He also remarked upon the arrogance of Southern whites 
and their sense of superiority and warned the haughty 
Anglo-Saxon that pride cometh before a fall. He then went 
on to illustrate. "Two thousand years ago," said he, "the 
proud Romans looked down upon the uncouth Teutons, even 
as you white men today despise the blacks. And note the 
result. Ere long the haughty Roman was an humble Italian, 
grinding an organ, as his monkey, tricked out in cap and bells, 
was holding out his hand to staring children for a penny. 
Today the despised Teuton is ruling the world." 

The Phillips family were liberal people, having been 
Whigs, opposed to secession and war. But their liberality 
was a stumbling block. In the late 'yo's General Phillips 
exiled himself, left the state. Mrs. Spencer also departed and 
died in a distant land. She was the patron saint of our Uni- 
versity and wrote the college songs and hymns, sung to this 
day. The Phillips name with us is now extinct. 

In 1876 Vance and Settle were opposing candidates for the 
governorship and spoke in Hillsboro, about twelve miles from 
the HilL Many of the students attended this famed and now 
historical event. Seated on the limb of a tree above the con- 
tending orators, I witnessed the remarkable spectacle a surg- 
ing mass of humanity losing itself in uproarious laughter an<J 
the wildest applause, as Zeb Vance, a people's idol, cracked 
his inimitable jokes and defined the Radical party: "Begotten 
by a scalawag out of a mulatto and born in a stillhouse." 
Those were rough times and Vance their exponent, but in 
later years he became more scholarly and conservative. 

In the Vance and Settle debates I must admit that but for 
one handicap Settle would have given his opponent a harder 
tussle. During the war Settle was a captain and prior had 



GIVE A CHANCE 85 

been a Democrat and a secession Democrat at 

backs which precluded him from the 

at its weakest point. Three or four in 

North Carolina went Republican, for many years, 

the Civil War was charged up to the secession Democracy. 

Soon after Brother Frank and I returned from the Vance- 
Settle debate Father wrote that we might visit 
and attend the Centennial Exposition. This occasion was 
memorable, and especially interesting and profitable to me 
who had never before seen a city. The theaters captivated 
me. Brother and I lost our hearts to that fatherly and glori- 
ous master of the stage, Denman Thompson, in The Old 
Hmnestead. We fairly shouted for joy as a yoke of red 
oxen, so natural and homelike, slung slowly across the boards, 
hauling a farm wagon, piled to the very top with the sweet- 
est-smelling hay. 

The art gallery interested me, though I had scant apprecia- 
tion of painting or sculpture. I saw Powers' Greek Slave 
and other notable works of art, but they did not speak to me 
as two other modest specimens. One of these was a hare, a 
timid little thing, shot through the heart and hanging with 
its head down from a cabin door, a red tell-tale stream trick- 
ling from a vital part. The other, a woman's head of butter 
kept icy cold, her profile clear-cut, features classic and hair 
modestly braided. Now in this little piece of art, I am sure, 
it was not the work of the artist I beheld, it was my old home 
down on the Cashie and the face of my mother. 

One night Brother and I went out and saw a new and 
naughty play, The Black Crook y with its bevy of girls in 
tights, its devils and imps, tricked out in myriad hued colors 
and shooting up from trap doors, in every direction, amidst 
calcium lights that dazzled and bewildered. Each day at 
noon we would sit in Machinery Hall, with thousands of 
tired, happy, human beings, and munch the lunch which Mrs. 
Vick, our boarding-house keeper, had prepared and listen to 



86 GIVE THE HEATHEN A CHANCE 

the matchless Levy on his silver cornet. Shall I ever again 
hear the a Last Rose of Summer" as Levy interpreted it in 
those mellow October days? 

In connection with The Black Crook an amusing incident 
occurred. It was related to me by my old friend Charlie 
Shepherd. Charlie said that one morning, when the news 
leaked out in Windsor that the two Winston boys had gone 
all the way to Philadelphia to see the Big Show, he met 
Father on the street and asked him if the report were really 
true. He was told it was. "And what do you reckon Frank 
and Bob are doing about now, Mr. Winston?" Charlie asked. 
"Well, Shipherd," said Father, "about now, I'd say Frank is 
out buying tickets to The Black Crook and swearing Bob not 
to tell the Old Horse!" 

The Centennial was without any doubt the most useful 
experience of my young days it projected me ten years into 
the future. The flashing city lights, the smell of the gas in 
Chestnut Street theater, the gay, happy, fun-loving crowd, 
the roar of the city, the immense twenty-five-thousand- 
horse-power Corliss engine, turning every wheel and machine 
in the Exposition grounds, these new and strange sights 
changed the fifteen-year-old country chap into something of 
a cosmopolitan! 

I remember a wonderful top I bought, D. Dudley's Im- 
proved Gyroscope, it was called. Can I ever forget it? It 
cost me thirty-five cents. And one afternoon, as I sat on the 
banks of the Schuylkill, spinning my top and wondering how 
the rotation of a little iron wheel could overcome gravity 
and support so much opposing weight, my precious toy 
broke loose, and down the slope it rolled into ten feet of 
water. Poor as I was, I purchased another and carried it back 
to Chapel Hill as a trophy of the Exposition. On Ohio Day 
General Rutherford B. Hayes, Republican candidate for 
President, seated on a spanking horse, appeared in the grounds 



GIVE THE HEATHEN A CHANCE 87 

and, as the electoral scandal had not yet occurred, heart- 
ily cheered. 

Jest fifty years after this Ohio Day I was at Wllknistown, 
Massachusetts. There I saw something of Betty 
of Galveston, Texas, a woman of rare personality, 
aunt had married Judge Miller of the United States 
Court. Judge Miller had been one of the Commission which 
turned Tilden out and put Hayes in the Presidency. 
Ballkger related a conversation which took place 
her father and the Justice. "Sam," said the Galveston lawyer 
to his brother-in-law, "how under the sun did you manage to 
decide it was lawful to go behind the returns from Florida 
but it was not lawful to go behind the returns from Oregon?" 
"Oh, Tom," was the reply, "you know it was too soon after 
the Rebellion to hand the government over to the rebels. 
Why, I didn't even look at the evidence, I wanted peace." 

Our visit to the Centennial was made doubly happy by an 
unexpected incident. Father and Mother and little Sister 
and Lucy Long, her eighteen-year-old colored nurse alert, 
witty, as straight as an Indian, and alas, with the best white 
blood of Bertie coursing through her veinscame on to the 
Centennial and arrived a few days after Brother and me. Not 
knowing our address, the whole party, Lucy in particular, 
were keen to run into us. Now it happened that Father's 
little group and Brother and I went to see The Old Home- 
stead on the same evening, they sitting in the parquet circle, 
well up to the left and under the footlights, and we, k the 
pit, some distance back to the right. Fully a hundred feet 
separated us. Presently the first act ended and the bright 
lights were flashed on. Then the keen-eyed Lucy espied us. 
"Lord Gawd," she screamed, clapping her hands with un- 
restrained glee, "if yonder ain't Marse Frank and Marse 
Robert!" I am sure the theatergoers that night got the worth 
of their money. 



CHAPTER VIII 
UNDER THE DAVIE POPLAR 

AS the fourth year of college approached, my timidity began 
to "wear away. Not only were my studies more congenial 
but my health had improved. Gradually, I was coming to 
myself and beginning to mingle with the boys and join in 
their excesses. One night four of us hiked out five miles 
through the woods to Sykes' moonshine distillery hid away 
in the underbrush on New Hope Creek. After filling a two 
gallon demijohn with raw corn liquor and stringing the jug 
on a pole, suspended from shoulder to shoulder, we set out 
for the campus, making the early morning hours hideous with 
our songs, "Upidee," "Aunt Dinah's Quilting Party," "Roll, 
Jordan, Roll," "Good Night, Ladies." The next day the re- 
port of my scholarship and general deportment arrived and I 
was depicted as a model student, above reproach, sans peur et 
sms reproche. But, as a matter of fact, I felt much more like 
Bunyan's Mr. Facing Two Ways than the Chevalier Bayard. 

The spirit of hopefulness in college was so unusual as to 
bear emphasizing. We are told that, following the Thirty 
Years' War, people were emaciated and dispirited to such an 
extent that they actually sweat blood. And we know that, 
following the World War, mankind was disheartened and 
bewildered. But after the American conflict no such condi- 
tions existed. On the contrary, the South, as a whole, and 
our little University, in particular, went forward, asking 
neither pity nor charity. 

One of our chief sources of amusement was the village 
negroes, whose relations with the whites were cordial, some- 
times too cordial. First of all there was our janitor, Wilson 



UNDER DAVIE 89 

Caldwell, a remarkable figure. In Wils 

had been a justice of the peace, but, 1876, the 

negroes were disfranchised, he lost his and 

to hard labor without grumbling. Tall, erect, 
colored, Wils was courteous, capable and foil of laugh- 

ter. He was also frugal and ambitious. Therefore, 
the Durham tobacco king offered him the position of butler, 
he left us. In about a month he was back on the Hill 
applying to President Battle for his old job. "Why, Wilson," 
said the President, "I understood you were living In Dur- 
ham." "Yes, sir," said Wils, "so I was, sir, but, to tell the 
God's truth, sir, Durham ain't no place for a literary gent." 

Jordan Weaver, the colored preacher, supplied our noc- 
turnal 'possum suppers. "Goobers tonight, gents," Jordan 
would smile, as he entered our quarters at any hour of the 
night. Bowing and gracious, he would remove the cloth from 
his basket and exhibit pies and cakes and a fat, greasy 'pos- 
sum. Nor would it faze him when we insisted that he pro- 
duce the head of the animal as evidence it was not a cat! 

Once the University magazine flung-off on a rival college 
with the statement that the Reverend Jordan Weaver, DJX, 
LL.D., had accepted an invitation to preach the sermon at 
the next Wake Forest commencement. A tempest in a teapot 
followed and the editor was ordered to apologize. This he 
did in the following manner. "In our last issue, we stated 
that Reverend Jordan Weaver would preach the baccalaureate 
sermon at Wake Forest College, next June. In this we were 
mistaken, and hasten to say the Reverend Weaver has de- 
clined the invitation!" 

A queer specimen of humanity was Benny Booth, a coal- 
black little negro whose skull was as tough as a gum tree, 
and shaped, for all the world, like a cocoanut. Ben's head 
was his source of income. For the price of a dime he would 
permit anyone to split a plank, not thicker than a half Inch, 
across his naked skull. Nor would he bat an eye or flinch 



90 UNDER THE DAVIE POPLAR 

or seem to suffer the least pain. But the negro who most 
puzzled and Interested me was the village barber, Tom Dun- 
Stan, whose shop joined the post office, Tom's color was 
ginger-cake, his manner restrained, natural and original, and 
when he would mimic certain members of the faculty and 
accentuate their peculiarities we would simply explode with 
laughter. When Tom moved about he did not walk, he 
shuffled along and was slue-footed. His teeth were snaggled 
and altogether he was as unpromising a specimen of humanity 
as one ever saw. How so vulgar a being could have fasci- 
nated the most cultured of our students remains a puzzle, 
unless we find an explanation in the fact that he dealt in 
topics of sex. 

On the main street of the village there abode, or to be 
more accurate, hung out, a negro woman, plump, buxom, and 
ebony-hued. Sally Cave's jolly face was always wreathed 
in smiles and, like her forbears in darkest Africa, she simply 
throbbed with passion. In the course of time this wild crea- 
ture got with child and, by the strangest stroke of luck, the 
father of the waif proved to be the only Northern professor 
on the Hill. A splendid fellow, learned and greatly beloved, 
he had come down to us from Michigan. The facility of 
such performances, the novelty, the absence of serious com- 
plications, and a change of climate, no doubt, had beguiled 
our sedate professor and, unlike Joseph with Potiphar's wife, 
he had fallen. When the baby came we named her Annie 
Arbor! 

During the hundred and fifty years of the University's 
existence more than twenty thousand youngsters have roamed 
the campus lusty, full-blooded fellows. During the same 
period there have been In the village hundreds of complacent, 
sable daughters of Ham. On every street corner they have 
smiled; amorous, absorbed by a sexual frenzy and honored by 
intercourse with the sons of their late masters. Yet the 
paternity of no mulatto, except that of Annie Arbor, has been 



UNDER DAVIE 91 

definitely estabished. A Is on for 

solution to the biologist. 1 A persistent 
Trice, our stately, bronzed shoemaker, was the son of Zcb 
Vance is without foundation, George fully as old as his 

aforesaid putative father! 

At this point if anyone should inquire how it to 

that the American Negro, originally black, had so 

far Caucasianized that three million of them are 
the question must await future discussion. 

Bad luck befell another Northern professor, due to the fact 
that he was unused to Southern manners. This professor 
was a giant in size but nervous and fractious, the slightest 
noise disturbing his equanimity* One morning in the class- 
room he blurted out to the boys who were scraping their 
feet that they were not gentlemen and he was not going to 
stand for such insolence. Now a remark of this kind, to a 
Southern boy, means a fight. Therefore a high-strung young- 
ster stepped up to the desk and said, "See here. Professor, you 
have insulted me, and unless you apologize Fll whale hell out 
of you." An apology followed but the Professor soon left us. 
A good illustration of Southern strength and also of Southern 
weakness. 

Though native professors were sometimes severe with stu- 
dents they kept out of trouble by avoiding insulting language. 
In those careless, happy-go-lucky days, the country was 
flooded with spurious, empty titles, every person being either 
a colonel, a major, or a professor, at the least. Tom Dunstan 
signed himself professor of the tonsorial art. It was during 
this perf ervid period of mock grandeur that Brother George 
one day directed Tom Vance, son of the Senator, to go to 
the board and put a fable of Aesop's into Latin. Presently 

1 Yet an authenticated incident may facilitate its easy solution. A colored 
girl, haled into court to declare the father of her putative child, snickered 
and retorted, "How I know hits Daddy? Rabbit run through briar patch, 
do she know what briar scratch her?" 



92 UNDER THE DAVIE POPLAR 

Tom finished the work and, in a spirit of devilment, wrote 
Ms name, prefixing the title "Professor." 

Pretty soon, Brother turned to examine the board and dis- 
covered the presumptuous word, around which he drew a 
chalk mark, quietly remarking, "Well, young gentlemen, the 
title seems to have struck bottom at last." 

On one occasion Professor Graves, whom we not only ad- 
mired but considered the greatest prodigy since Archimedes 
or Euclid, was accounting for the persistent heat of the sun 
due, perhaps, to contraction or to some land of self-created 
suction extracting electricity from the surrounding ether or, 
more likely, to friction caused by the falling of moon and 
worlds and planets and meteors into the fiery mass. 

"Why, that couldn't be, Professor," broke in Brother 
Frank, "or we would see the sparks fly." 

"Humph!" said Graves, with the utmost contempt. "You 
can see a cow down yonder In front of Mickles' store, but 
can you see the fly on her back?" 

"No, sir, but we can see her switch her tail to brush the 
fly off." 

As the class snickered and giggled the Professor recovered 
sufficiently to remark, "You'd better be crying over your 
ignorance Instead of laughing." Such scenes as these, though 
often more ridiculous, were happening in nearly every class- 
room. 

The saving salt In college life was the literary societies, 
there being two, the Philanthropic and the Dialectic. All 
students were required to join one or the other, Eastern boys 
being Phis and Western, Dis. Every Friday evening we met, 
the session often running on until after midnight. Our pro- 
gram was interesting and varied, consisting of declamations, 
original compositions, and debates. The declamation work 
was as nearly perfect as any I have ever known. The subjects 
were not only selected from good literature but the manner 
of delivery was remarkable in accent, modulation and gesture. 



UNDER DAVIE 93 

On the third floor of the South the 

hail from me, there roomed a chap Thomas. By the 

hour, I would hear him practicing declamation. 
I would go to his room and there I would discover 
ing before the mirror watching every gesture and every mo- 
tion of his body. A bundle of nerves, almost up by 
ambition, Thomas would declare there was, in the of 
Congress, a hatrack waiting for his hat. And so was. 
Thomas served six or eight terms in Congress. 

Our debates likewise were of a high order, though the sub- 
jects discussed were academic and historical. Burning ques- 
tions of the day had not entered our campus. We wrestled 
with such queries as the legality of the execution of Lady 
Jane Grey, we debated the relative greatness of Napoleoa 
and Wellington, we inquired if a lie were ever justifiable or 
if perpetual motion were possible. Many a day I have wan- 
dered through the tangled wildwood, over by Roaring Foun- 
tain, the Meeting of the Waters, and often out to the Iron 
Mine. And as I strolled I am sure I entranced the very birds 
as I spouted the eloquent remarks with which I was to regale 
the Phi Hall at its next session. Nor did I and my fellows 
fail to enrich our debates by contact with the professors and 
by reading widely in history and biography. 

Though the average Southerner has always been long on 
speech-making he has been short on written composition. At 
least such was the case with us. Our composition work was 
poor: thin, pedantic and sometimes plagiarized. In our Soci- 
ety two correctors did duty, one supervising compositions 
and declamations, the other debates. Their comments were 
often excellent, frequently caustic. In the University library 
there was a popular book, written by Dr. Todd and called 
The Studenfs Manual, and, in the mathematical department, 
a text-book, Todhunter's Algebra. Now in Todd's Mamml 
there is an interesting chapter entitled Habits, which a bril- 
liant but lazy boy copied, word for word. No sooner had 



94 UNDER THE DAVIE POPLAR 

the corrector heard the composition than 'he spotted its author 
and knew It was copied from Todd. His only comment was 
to ask this question, "Why should Mr. Blank be a good 
mathematician?" The answer, of course, being, "Because he 
is a great Todd~hunter. n 

In this restricted environment, I was still but a boy and too 
young to understand the significance of things. The pro- 
vincial quality of our instruction gave me no concern nor 
did the grave negro problem. The fact that my native land 
was sensitive, self-satisfied, and living in the past did not irk 
me. I was likewise impervious to the harm of brigadier rule 
and of the Solid South. Our public schools were open only 
three months in the year and were operated under a system 
outworn and ineffectual. The one-crop heresy and King 
Cotton were exhausting Father's Roanoke plantations. Agri- 
culture was dying and there were neither factories nor other 
industries to take its place. Yet these ominous conditions did 
not move me; in truth, I was not aware of them. 

And yet I was able to put my finger on a few sore spots. 
Our commencement orations disappointed me; they were flat 
and perfunctory. In other sections scholars and public- 
spirited citizens were speaking plainly and criticizing what 
was wrong. In the South, with the possible exception of 
Georgia, such was not the case. Our politicians moved in 
well-worn ruts. We had no Emerson with his Divinity 
School address, we had no Adams to declare that University 
life was useless and hurtful. 

I recall three supposedly great commencement orations, 
one by General Ransom, another by Senator Vance and the 
third by Governor Fowle. And such twaddle! Bits of 
poetry, reminiscences, flattery, insipid advice, glorification of 
the past, classical allusions. The beauty of Southern women, 
the bravery of Southern men. No creative ideas, no con- 
structive criticism. Nothing from Karl Marx or from Shelley 



UNDER DAVIE POPLAR 95 

or Darwin or Whitman. No the 

bing, outside world. No program of 

Ransom, the superb, six feet two inches and our 

greatest orator, as he stood on the of Gerrard 

and spoke to us, looked the Roman Senator, But, he 

came to the business in hand he dealt in platitudes and 
compliments. He said that, like Edmund Burke before the 
University of Edinburgh, he was struck dumb. His 
were too deep for words. These classic shades, this hallowed 
spot, this sacred hall, had unloosed the floodgates of memory. 
Though he had brought along a carefully prepared address, 
he could not deliver it. His heart was too full The cold 
written word was inadequate. He had cast aside his manu- 
script, he had left it in his valise at the hotel After this 
preparatory work, which many considered cooked-up, the 
orator plunged into the Civil War the heroism of the South- 
em soldier, the matchless leadership of Lee and Jackson and 
the magnanimity of General Grant. Raising his hands on 
high he blessed his old comrades-in-arms who had followed 
him in the bloody battle of Plymouth, And as sk of these 
grizzled warriors rose in the audience and their general called 
them by name, there was scarcely a dry eye in the house. 
"My countrymen! My God, my God, my countrymen! " 
These were his farewell soul-stirring words. 

When Vance addressed us he did not affect the literary 
nor did he indulge in pathos, yet it was apparent he had givea 
little time or study to his task. But, when Fowle delivered 
the commencement oration he soared aloft and flew the eagle 
bird. He reveled in Anglo-Saxon lore, gloried in the suprem- 
acy of the white race, appointed by God to rale the world. 
And the noblest type of this race were Josiah Turner and 
Randolph Shotwell, leaders of the Ku Klux. After he had 
paid a tribute to English jurisprudence and to Magna Charta, 
wrung from King John by the barons at Runnymede, he 
apotheosized the writ of habeas corpus, under which Turner 



96 UNDER THE DAVIE POPLAR 

and Shotwell had been liberated from prison by that illustri- 
ous jurist and patriot, Judge Brooks. "We honor thee, 
George W. Brooks. Long may the marble that shall mark 
thy resting place remain in its native quarry! Long may it 
be before the daisies shall prank thy grassy grave, George W. 
Brooks." This was pretty enough and set the audience on 
fire, but, was it not all sauce and no meat? 

Another hangover from the past likewise stirred my young 
soul: the Southern bully. This creature is an interesting 
study; he flourished in schools, in colleges and in politics. 
Usually a cool, dull, phlegmatic fellow, he was a master of 
mob psychology. In slavery days he had been the duelist. 
But when dueling was outlawed, he became the bully, the 
terror of a law-abiding community. Frequently he would 
provoke a fight and then proceed to kill his adversary in 
self-defense. Our college had its bullies. One day from my 
window in the South Building I witnessed a scene that greatly- 
agitated me. A college bully turned on a chicken-hearted 
chap and cursed him as though he were a dog. This poor 
fellow had been fawning on his tormentor and now he was 
cowed and shrank away and was called yellow. He could 
never rally from this act of cowardice. 

The only fisticuffs I ever approved took place on the 
campus near old lawyer Watson's home, across from the post 
office. The issue was poor against rich, plebs against patri- 
cians, anti-fraternity against fraternity. Temple was the 
Marius, the champion of the sans-culottes and McCorkle, the 
Sulla, the exponent of the aristocrats. In this fight I was 
wholly with the underdog. It seemed to me that my crowd, 
the aristocrats, were pressing the grapes too hard taking an 
undue advantage. They should not have organized secret 
fraternities, contrary to law. Nor should they have used 
them to win out in college politics. But this I will say, 
there was never a more glorious boxing match. And it 
resulted in a draw. 



UNDER DAVIE POPLAR 97 

Violence sometimes originated in the Let 

one be discourteous to a lady and her escort be 

to avenge the insult. The word woman to 

designate the sex. Such epithet was regarded as an affront. 
I have known two families who had been on friendly 
become permanently estranged because of the use of the 
woman instead of lady. 

This sensitiveness, and this violence, is not difficult of ex- 
planation. t It was the offspring of slavery days; it was in- 
evitable. In the matter of slavery the South had been wrong. 
Slavery could not be justified. It had been condemned by 
the entire world. Yet the South undertook to justify slavery; 
she loudly proclaimed that slavery was right, morally, politi- 
cally, and socially. In this course the South was indulging 
in rationalization; she was thinking crooked. Nor could the 
South think straight in this matter: to do so would have put 
an end to slavery. Hence, thought gave place to emo- 
tionalism. 

These unhappy conditions bore heavily upon Brother 
George, and he resolved that I should avoid them. His plan 
was that I should leave the South, move to the state of Penn- 
sylvania, where I would teach and study law at the same time. 
Often he would say to me that inhibitions, prejudices, sec- 
tionalism, religious bigotry, and the race problem were lions 
in the pathway of Southern progress. Why should I live 
amidst such untoward surroundings? Though I agreed to 
try my fortune in the North I did not accept Brother's con- 
clusion that the South was so thoroughly fettered. Indeed, 
I thought we were doing about as well as could be expected 
under the circumstances. 

In truth, at that very moment, constructive influences were 
at work in our Universityforces destined to liberalize the 
state, move it forward, and raise it higher in the scale of 
intelligence. Charles B. Aycock was devouring Green's lib- 
eral Short History of Englmd and preparing himself to 



98 UNDER THE DAVIE POPLAR 

broadcast the doctrine of universal education. Charles D. 
Mclver was incubating the idea of a university for women, 
making them the equal of men. My classmate, W. J. Peele, 
was wrestling with the thought of industrial education and 
the organization of a college of agriculture and engineering. 
Edwin A. Alderman was mastering the Latin tongue; shortly 
he was to enrich Southern thought and inaugurate a more 
universal literature. Horace Williams, unique and lonesome, 
was laying the foundation of a philosophy so broad as to 
fructify the state and set it on a pinnacle. J. Y. Joyner was 
mastering the art of teaching. 

And not only were these youngsters at work in our Uni- 
versity, but within sight of the little village of Chapel Hill 
there were two other factors. One, the development of 
Walter Page; the other, the rise of the Duke family. From 
the heights of Ghimghoul Castle, on the outskirts of the vil- 
lage as one looks south fifteen miles away, he may see Page's 
Siding. There was born Walter Page, master of expression, 
rural champion, author of The Rebuilding of Old Common- 
wealths addresses, constructive, stimulating, worth their 
weight in gold, the very opposite to all that North Carolina 
had ever heard or dreamed of. 

And, on the other side of the village as one looks east from 
Tinney's Terrace, fifteen miles away he may see a grove 
sheltering the Duke farmstead. Here were toiling Washing- 
ton Duke and his sons, Brodie, Ben, and Bucka family des- 
tined to harness the rivers of Canada and the United States, 
to install hydro-electric plants, to spin the cotton crop of the 
South, to incorporate tobacco factories and remove ginseng 
from the mouths of Asiatics and supply them with tobacco. 
A family indeed which amassed untold wealth, endowed 
hospitals and founded a great liberal university. . . . 

At length my college days came to an end. I was gradu- 
ated. My fourth commencement was at hand, and there 
were flowers and flounces, and a grand ball with music, by 



UNDER 99 

a which had come all the way And 

presently the senior orations off, the the 

state's eminent sons, Governor Jarvis, Governor Fowlc, and 
Congressman Leech, And I was the much-coveted 

Mangum medal, while thousands in and Gerrard 

applauded and, on the hundred acre grove round 
brayed and horses whinnied in unison. . . . 

In one conclusion, at least, 1 think the psychologists are 
correct. In order for a subnormal person to overcome 
he must accomplish some task, be made to feel that he is some- 
body, a man among men. Certainly such was my case. Three 
times I had been thus stimulated, thrice I had felt I was mov- 
ing forward. When a junior I had been chosen by ballot 
president of the literary society. In a contest for the com- 
mencement orator I had also won out. And now, at gradua- 
tion, I was the Mangum medalist, and beginning to feel my 
oats or, as the psychologists would remark, my Ego was in 
process of rehabilitation. 



CHAPTER IX 
DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE 

WELL pleased with my four years of college, though poorly 
educated, I set out, in a leisurely way, for home, stopping 
off a few days at the capital of the state, a delightful little 
place called the City of Oaks. At that time Raleigh's flowers 
and forest trees were marred by unsightly residences, vulgar 
towers, unshapely roofs and cheap trimmings smiting one in 
the face. In the entire town there were only two pieces of 
real architecture, the capitol and Christ Church, the former 
with graceful, self-supporting stairs, the latter having a pleas- 
ing English cloister and a steeple crowned with Peter's crow- 
ing cock and not the conventional cross. Rumor had it that 
Sunset Cox and wife once came down from New York to 
get a look at this masterpiece of Hobart Upjohn. 

My stop-off in Raleigh however was not to inspect works 
of art but to visit Father's kinsman Thomas C. Fuller. The 
Colonel was good company, full of funny stories which he 
told with the abandon of an old-timer. He had been a lieu- 
tenant in Starr's battery and a member of the Confederate 
Congress. After the war he was elected to the national Con- 
gress but was refused a seat because his "rebel" disabilities 
had not been removed. He afterwards became a U. S. Judge, 
and looked the distinguished part. A grand manner, winning 
ways, great liquid eyes in a massive head, and a long flowing 
mustache, which gave him such a leonine aspect that old 
lawyer Mark Lanier used to say if he could only pull that 
lion's skin off, Fuller wouldn't win so many cases! 

The Colonel and iny uncle had been playboys together 
and he could tell me all about our kinspeople. How our 

100 



DOWN BY 101 

great-great-grandmother was on the of 

and had seven brothers in the Revolution. Her 
Sarah married great-grandfather Fuller, a Hard-Shell 
preacher. This grandmother of mine a 

prodigy. She had not a strand of hair on her 
bald head and was so well versed In the Scriptures she 
was called a Scriptorian, that Is, was skillful In the 

Word. Once, when Grandfather had grown old In 

his dotage, his thorough-going spouse came upon 
the Bible, sniffing and crying. 

"Now, Mr. Fuller/* she said, "what is the matter this time?" 

"Oh, how I wish I had one of those ram's horns, to blow 
down the walls of wickedness." 

"Mr. Fuller, you listen to me. If you were called to preach 
you haven't blown that ram's horn near enough and if you 
were not called you* ve blown it entirely too much. So, you 
keep quiet!" 

Her daughter Anne married Grandfather George Win- 
ston. Very dignified but very convivial, he sported a gold- 
headed cane and a long coat and, got off wonderful witti- 
cisms. Heredity, he would call heriditery. A tavern in the 
valley at Franklinton, where the planters would gather for 
occasional sprees, he nicknamed Hell in the Hollow. Though 
the old man was proud of his four sons he was disposed to 
fling off on the youngest, perhaps the wittiest member of the 
family, because he refused an education. On one occasion, 
when the old gentleman and his cronies were gathered at 
Hell in the Hollow, he amused them by characterizing his 
four boys Duncan, a teacher, Patrick, a lawyer, John, a 
doctor, and Tom, as he laughingly said, a damn fool. 

Now this little joke was too good to keep and, of course, 
got out. Next Sunday, at Sandy Creek Meeting House, 
Baldy Pierce called up the crowd and repeated it. 

"I God, boys," Baldy laughed, "have you hearn old man 
George Winston's latest? He says he's got four boys, Dun- 



102 DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE 

can, a school-teacher, Pat, a lawyer, John, a doctor, and Tom, 
a damn fool." 

Whereupon my uncle Tom quietly replied, "Well now, 
Baldy, the only difference between my daddy's four boys 
and yours Is that only one of us Is a damn fool but all of you 
all are damn fools/* 

' In 1876 the Force BUI was In operation and United States 
troops swarmed around, supervising elections and enraging 
the whites. When Uncle Tom went to the polls to vote for 
Tilden and Hendrlcks one of these supervisors stepped in 
and entered a challenge. Thereupon my Impulsive kinsman 
spat a mouthful of tobacco juice In his face. He was arrested 
and convicted and no doubt would have gone to prison but 
for our kinsman, Captain Charles Mather Cooke, a descendant 
of Cotton Mather, and Captain Joe Davis, a hero of Gettys- 
burg and the congressman of the district. I have always 
thought General Grant, who had a warm spot in his heart 
for Confederates, Interfered and saved Uncle from a prison 
term. 

After a visit to the Fullers, I continued my homeward 
journey and what was my joy to discover that the train- 
conductor was my old friend Captain Timberlake and the 
engine or "buUgine," as negroes called it which pulled us 
was another old friend, the Chockoyotte, with its brave figure 
of a little black boy dressed In a red jacket, a jaunty cap and 
top boots, and standing above the cow-catcher, waving a 
dandy little flag, just as he used to do when we were refugees 
at Springfield. And as the Chockoyotte was crossing the Tar 
River bridge, two miles from our old home, I went out on 
the rear platform and gazed over the scenes of my childhood. 
I could see old Andrew, shuffling around and mimicking the 
engine, "Chew-e-chew, chew-e-chew!" 

At Seaboard, Andrew met me with our carriage and horses, 
and I left the cars and started on the long fifty-mile drive to 
Windsor. And along the road every object bade me wel- 



DOWN BY 103 

come. The feathery dogf ennel, the tall 

fence, the soft gray moss, and 

juniper, the homely pokebeny, the 

with its gorgeous flowers, the white sand, 

the slow carriage wheels, the cool, shady stream, as the 

stopped to drink. Even the squalid negro the 

barefoot, lousy, shirt-tailed little urchins, sitting on the fence, 

darting in and out, as alert as the squirrels that in 

the near-by swamps: all these humble, familiar 

dened my heart and made me feel I was drawing near 

and soon would hear Tiger's deep-mouthed baying as 1 

entered the avenue leading up to the Castle. 

Windsor I found the same delightfully sluggish village of 
four years before. Though times were harder, cotton having 
dropped from twenty cents to nine and labor being more 
inefficient, who cared about these trifling matters? Life 
in Windsor, like the gently flowing Cashie, was unruffled by 
passing events. In the entire county there was no telegraph 
line, no railroad, no whistle of factory to disturb the equa- 
nimity. Negroes did the work, white folks, the bossing! 

"Hurrah for hell who cares for breakfast?" would be 
Charlie Shepherd's challenge to fate, as he and Cousin Watt 
Tayloe and Bug Dave Outlaw and Tom Gulley would go 
down Cashie Neck deer-hunting. There was indeed fun and 
frolic for all. Checkers and backgammon and old sledge and 
croquet and marbles, for the more refined; loafing about the 
streets, drinking, spinning yarns, fishing, hunting and carous- 
ing, for the roughnecksa state of affairs which would have 
delighted Rip Van Winkle but was so distasteful to my 
proud, aspiring father that he was ill at ease and called them 
Windsorisms, and shipped his children off to school before 
they were ten. 

On a certain occasion, when the Governor came down and 
visited his native county, he stayed out in the country with 
a brother and at night neighbors called, one of whom casually 



104 DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE 

remarked that the mud hole this side Dewer's Cross-roads was 
worse than he ever saw it. "But/' broke in a cousin, "the 
mud hole ain't this side, hit's tother side." 

"Well, I say hit ain't." 

"And I say hit is." 

"Well, oughtn't I know, ain't I just from there?" 

"Damn your hide, do you mean to call me a liar?" 

"Yes, by God, I do, if you say that thar mud hole ain't 
this side." 

And at each other's throats they flew and, but for the 
Interference of friends, the battle of the mud hole would 
doubtless have been fought. 

Undoubtedly, Father had done well to send me off to 
school at an early age. If I had been left to my impulses I 
would have floated with the stream and Windsor would have 
beguiled me. In John Pete Rascoe's store I would have been 
a clerk at fifty dollars a month, measuring calico, weighing 
side-meat, drawing molasses and kerosene. Certainly, Chan- 
cellor Erskine was not more brokenhearted when he failed 
to land the job of training a little Scotch Presbyterian church 
choir than I, when forced to forego a clerkship in Rascoe's 
store. 

Until the summer of 1879 I had not realized the importance 
of rivers and other waters to Bertie and Eastern Carolina. 
Beyond all doubt, the story of this section is the story of 
water. The broad Atlantic, the Albemarle Sound, the Pam- 
lico, the Ocracoke, Bogue, Core, Masonboro, and the Curri- 
tuck. The Chowan River, the Roanoke, the Tar, the Neuse, 
the Cape Fear, the Alligator, the Pasquotank, the Perquimans. 
Lake Waccamaw, Lake Scuppernong, Lake Matamuskeet. 

Without the Cashie what would Bertie County be? Egypt 
without the Nile. Rising in Rice's mill pond, just above 
Windsor, meandering slowly through Lake Bailey, fifty feet 
deep, encircling the town, Its waters alive with fish, its banks 
rich with semi-tropical flora, Windsor's only outlet to the 



DOWN BY 105 

world, truly the Cashie a At 

old Tom Castillow considered It. 

One Saturday, as usual, this old and his son 

came up to town In their to the fun aod 

purchase a few pounds of sugar. Towards the of the 

day father and son, pretty well soaked, to of 

home. Wandering down to the wharf, they the pre- 

cious package on the bow of their craft and 
ily aboard. And then, misfortune of misfortune, "Gurgle, 
gurgle, gurgle/' went the sugar into fifty feet of water, 
"Suck, Neely, suck, the Cooshie is sweetened," the old 
frantically exclaimed! 

The event of my summer was an excursion to Nag's 
aboard the ironclad steamship Ch&wan, Captain Aimsworth, 
red-faced and full of the most beautiful oaths, commanding, 
Bogart the first mate. Down the Cashie we sailed Father* 
Mother, Sister and Lucy the colored maid, and I and at 
Plymouth caught the Cbo^m* A short run on the Roanoke 
and down by the lighthouse, with Terrapin Point and Avoct 
off our larboard bow, touching at Edenton and Elizabeth 
City, and the gallant ship was headed for the broad waters 
beyond. Soon, off the mouth of the blustering Alligator, 
high winds rose, rocking the craft, dashing spray in the faces 
of belles and beaux locked in each other's arms, waltzing, 
laughing and screaming with joy, while in the saloon below 
numerous old cronies had gathered, sipping mint juleps* spin- 
ning yarns, and recalling days gone by, when life was worth 
living. 

Scarcely had the excursion to Nag's Head ended, when our 
kinsfolk, the Capeharts, invited twelve of us, six boys and six 
girls, to visit Scotch Hall and Avoca. And then there was 
fun a full week of it! Sailing down Edenton Bay, in swan- 
like sharpies, galloping saddle nags over to Governor Eden's 
old palace, gliding in dainty cypress boats up Salmon Creek 
and the winding Cashoke. The softest skies overhead, the 



106 DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE 

odor of the wild rose, round about the water, amber color, 
and a very fairyland of tiger lilies. 

When I first arrived at home, a full-fledged graduate, I had 
not lost my dignity; in fact, I pleased Father no little. He 
and I discussed the subjects I had been studying, history, 
chemistry, and astronomy. I read his favorite authors and 
saw much of him. He told me about his college days at 
Chapel Hill and at Columbia University. My Mangum medal 
pleased him; he would take it in his hand and translate the 
inscription into English. FideK certa merces: "A certain re- 
ward to the faithful" But very soon I tired of bookish things 
and longed for the fleshpots of Windsor. In truth, I soon 
became a Windsorite and was enrolled as a crack player of 
the famous game of knucks. 

At about two o'clock each afternoon we would choose 
sides, four to the side, and from this time till dark the absorb- 
ing game, in front of William Stephens Gray's candy shop, 
would be on. Three small holes had been arranged, twelve 
feet apart, and in a straight line. The first hole was almost 
inaccessible, dug on top of a brickbat half buried in the 
ground or in the elevated root of a neighboring tree. Nip 
and tuck, hip and thigh, the contest would wage. As the 
game would draw to a close the sidewalks would scarcely 
hold the spectators who had come to witness the punishment 
the losing side must take. This punishment consisted of three 
shots upon each player's naked knuckles by a marble from the 
hands of his successful opponent. "Crack!" The marble would 
sound. "Ouch!" would fill the air, as the victim nursed his 
hand, and the crowd laughed and guyed without mercy. 

Never a week passed without a fish-fry at Tiger Bill 
Rascoe's plantation, down on the Roanoke, or a picnic aboard 
the Bertie, sailing the picturesque Cashie. Scores of boys and 
girls crowding the deck, singing, dancing, and spreading 
out well-filled baskets of cake and melons and fried chicken, 
after we had cast anchor at Thunder Bolt or Sans Souci 



DOWN BY 107 

or, a little further down, at Ryan's 

we sailed as far as the meeting of the the 

mannish Roanoke ravishes, the 

In Its turbid waters and polluting the as 

pictures the Syrian Orontes polluting the Tiber. 

Many an afternoon when the robins were a 

party of us, in Aaron Rascoe's yacht, the Lizzie, wet 

our hooks in the creeks and Inlets and bayous and 
make Into the Cashle the most popular of them, Pa's Gut, 
so-called for folly eighty years, ever since Mr. George Gray, 
now a gray-haired old man, but then a lad of four, Innocently 
remarked to a party of ladles and gentlemen, out on a 
trip, that he knew the very best place to catch fish, "It was 
up Pa's Gut!" 

Nothing short of court week indeed, or a political conven- 
tion, could compete with the amusements of Windsor. And 
while Brother Pat did not indulge in the game of knucks, or 
other childish sports, he seemed to enjoy the courts. Often 
he would go on the circuit with the Judge and sundry gay 
Old Blades. These cronies attended the courts for the mere 
fun of the thing. In nearly every county there would be 
some old lawyer, pompous, and a veritable malaprop, to fur- 
nish amusement for Bench and Bar. Colonel Gaynor Carra- 
way was one of these delightful old gentlemen. Once the 
Colonel was defending a fellow for embezzling money from 
an Influential citizen named Boyle, and It became necessary 
that Boyle's testimony should be broken down. This the 
Colonel undertook to do. 

"And now^gendemen," he said, "I approach the testimony 
of Frank Boyle. Yes, gentlemen, the testimony of Mr. 
Boyle." Here the Colonel stalled and repeated several times. 
And then Brother Pat and John Moore came to his rescue. 

"Say it's too thin, Colonel," Moore whispered. 

"Yes, gentlemen." The Colonel brightened. "Mr. Boyle's 
testimony, it's two things, two things, gentlemen! Two 



108 DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE 

! (a pause) I repeat: Colonel Boyle is one thing, and 
my client is another." 

When General Stubbs, a much-beloved man, died, Colonel 
Carraway took part in the services. After Chief Justice 
Smith, Judge Shepherd, Father, and others had paid tributes 
to the deceased, the Colonel rose with great dignity, threw 
back his shoulders, adjusted his vest, scanned the large, cul- 
tured audience, and, in a deep bass voice, began. "Jesse- 
Rowland Stubbs is dead! (A pause and a sage pursing of 
the lips.) His mother I know was a Rowland. (A longer 
pause.) His father I have heard was a Stubbs!" 

Brother Patrick was a great joker. On one occasion he 
was employed to prosecute a negro for stealing a pig, an 
offense of almost nightly occurrence, at that time. "Gentle- 
men of the jury," he said, looking very serious, "in cases of 
this kind there are but three ingredients, the bill of indict- 
ment, the nigger, and the pig. Here, gentlemen, is the bill 
(waving it) . There is the nigger (pointing to the prisoner) . 
But where is the pig?" 

I have referred to the political conventions which were no 
less exciting than the courts. The first convention I attended 
was at Edenton and the candidates were Major Yeates, Major 
Latham, and Captain Coke, each of whom had chartered a 
steamer to bring over his Bertie delegates. I found a place 
in the Coke boat, my father mildly supporting the Captain 
but not attending the convention. As we Coke men sailed 
across the Sound we were sure of victory. The very steamer, 
chugging along, sounded a note of victory. "Coke Coke, 
Coke Coke!" said the boat. 

The chairman of the convention was the venerable Fenner 
Satterthwaite, of little Washington, and his task was a dif- 
ficult one, the crowd being loud-spoken and full of grog. 
So noisy were they that the Chairman pounded with his 
gavel, and called upon the doorkeepers to restore order or 
remove the rowdy ones. "You fellows remind me of a bass 



DOWN BY 109 

drum," he exclaimed, "You are but noise," 

numerous fights and fierce as to sit as a 

delegate, the roll-call began* At Yeates 

the nominee and was subsequently I am 

three thousand grown men had given of to 

this contest. 

In '68 and again in '72 Republicans and had 

North Carolina; but in *y6 the state went Democratic. This 
result had been brought about, in many sections, by the use < 
of tissue ballots, by fraudulent counts, and by the 
of a salted ballot-box for the one in usedevices all 

good men deplored. And yet what other course pos- 
sible? As we have seen, the negroes in Eastern Carolina out- 
numbered the whites, and the conservatives were forced to 
co-operate with radical Democrats. They were unwilling to 
turn over the government to an alien race. 

In this view Father concurred, but my brothers did not. 
They concluded there was a middle course. At Chapel Hill 
Brother George, as we have seen, was longing for a freer life. 
My other brothers were likewise out of harmony with their 
surroundings. "Why should politics be cut and dried?" they 
were asking. Having seen something of the outside world 
they were dissatisfied with the inertia and self-complacency 
on every side. Why should not the state look to the rising 
sun and not to the setting? 

No doubt the summer of 1879 is more deeply impressed 
upon my memory because I realized that I would soon leave 
my native land and live up North. Already I had made 
application to the Superintendent of Schools of Pennsylvania 
to teach and was expecting a favorable answer. But here 
again my plans were changed. My old schoolmaster tendered 
me a position at a salary of $400 a year, board and quarters 
included. Having accepted this offer I became a pedagogue 
at Oxford, where I taught for one year one of the most 
eventful of my life. 



110 DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE 

I not only taught school but acted Claude Melnotte in the 
Lady of Lyons and became engaged to the Pauline of the 
play, my old schoolmaster's daughter. And when I quit 
school-teaching and set out to become a lawyer I was so 
eager that I traveled straight through from Oxford to Chapel 
Hill by way of Hillsboro, seventy-five miles over bad roads, 
in a carry-all without springs or cushions, arriving at my 
brother's home at two o'clock on a broiling hot night in 
August. 



CHAPTER X 
LAW A JEALOUS 

ONCE again I was living under Brother's roof and 
the association most stimulating. Though he 
a dead language he was far from dead. Animated with the 
scientific spirit of Cornell University, he was abreast of the 
times. In the classroom he was traciiig the upward move- 
ment of the race, interpreting dead civilizations and explain- 
ing their collapse. The Greek, too ethical, the Roman, too 
practical and lacking in reverence. On the streets of Athens 
and Copnth, Roman soldiers might have been seen kicking 
around precious bits of sculpture. Lack of reverence and of 
personal independence had been the causes of Roman deca- 
dence. In the state, the Emperor was supreme, in the family 
the father equally despotic, not dignifying his daughters by 
naming them but numbering them, as they arrived in the 
world, Julia No. i, Julia No. 2, etc. 

Undoubtedly Brother was endeavoring to combine in him- 
self the best qualities of these great peoples, but it was obvious 
he was moving toward the camp of the pragmatists. He was 
coming to feel that superstition, prejudice, and reHgious 
taboos would be removed by such biological geniuses as Dar- 
win and Huxley, and the world would be re-made by them. 
Herbert Spencer, in First Principles, as he concluded, ade- 
quately interpreted life, and Buckle's Introduction to Civiliza- 
tion was thought-provoking. When Brother put me on to 
Buckle's sweeping theory "If we knew our Yesterdays we 
would know our Tomorrows" the idea had so engrossed me 
that I based my Mangum medal speech on that thesis and 

ill 



112 LAW A JEALOUS MISTRESS 

called It "The Influence of Modern Inventions on Politics 
and Religion/ 5 

Other Interesting events were happening on the Hill, the 
inauguration of a summer school, a school of agriculture and 
one for extending university courses to the people. But these 
failed to attract me. The University was now strengthened 
by the addition of many able professors: the scientist, 
Venable, the agricultural expert, Ledoux, the physicist, Gore, 
and that master of Shakespeare, Thomas Hume. Yet I must 
admit that I did not go out of my way to cultivate any of 
these great personalities. 

I was not interested in college life. Down at Windsor, 
Father had urged me to commit Blackstone's definitions to 
memory, Insisting that a knowledge of the fundamentals 
would be thus acquired. Our law instructor concurred in 
this view. I therefore became a walking Blackstonian. Not 
a definition, from first to last, escaped me. I could repeat 
them all. Equity was more unreal and more difficult. It 
took me quite a while to understand how a system of law 
and equity could exist side by side, mutually destructive of 
each other, as it seemed to me. I rather agreed with Lord 
Holt, in his controversy with Chancellor Ellesmere; if the 
equity courts could nullify a judgment of the kw courts, 
equity was all, and law nothing. But I was in no way dis- 
mayed. Equity I took on faith and committed its maxims 
to memory. 

While engaged In these Intensive labors, I made a discovery 
that the ear is as necessary in the acquisition of knowledge as 
the eye. Formerly, I had used the eye only, but now I began 
to use both eye and ear. Important principles of law I wrote 
on a sheet of paper. These definitions Brother would read 
aloud as we went tramping through the woods. Saturdays 
and Sundays he and I would cover miles, grilling each other 
as we strolled. Though he was now in line of promotion to 
the presidency he seemed more eager than ever to become 



LAW A JEALOUS 113 

a lawyer. Having a set of law and 

them, he would ask me the Ms 

study disclosed. 

Fifty years after this period of I 

having a round of golf with John Payne, on the Chevy 

Chase course at Washington, and the Judge was me 

to a frazzle. "Judge," said I, "do tell me the of your 

fine game/' "Concentration," the incisive replied. One 
must not only keep his eye on the ball but his 
The old maxim, "Keep your eye on the ball," is a 
only: Mind, eyes, body, thews, sinews, muscles, legs, 
everything in fact, must be co-ordinated and get in the game. 

It was on this intensive plan I was pursuing my law studies. 
And my only assets were concentration, ambition and apti- 
tude for my task. Like my young friend Alderman, I had a 
decided disrelish for mathematics and physics, and quite a 
liking for the languages, history and literature. Yet my 
knowledge of these subjects was superficial. Though I knew 
many dates and the names of kings and battles, I faled to 
grasp their significance. The philosophy of history 1 had 
never heard of. I was quite ignorant of Karl Marc or of 
John Ball and his Dream or of Marco Polo and his travels. 
Though I knew that King Alfred was called Great and, when 
a fugitive, concealed in an old woman's house, had been 
roundly scolded for letting the cakes bum, I did not know 
why he was great. No one had ever told me that this good 
king wholly subordinated himself to the common good, co- 
ordinating warring factions, encouraging education, building 
roads, adjusting the finances, and taking a census of the 
people. 

And my fellow law-students, some six or eight in all, were 
as ignorant as myself. Not one of them had a college diploma. 
But they were good fellows and full of mother wit. Merritt, 
who named his oldest son for me, was perhaps the brightest 
man of the class. Boone became an orator of local renown 



114 LAW A JEALOUS MISTRESS 

and a circuit judge in Oklahoma. Rumph, a callow, over- 
grown South Carolina product, the boys would tease un- 
mercifully. "Rumph-ph-ph-ph! " Tom Vance would squall, 
mimicking the sneeze of a billy-goat, and filling the campus 
with the unearthly sound. One morning, just before the class 
convened, Rumph opened his Blackstone and read aloud the 
statement that one Parliament cannot tie the hands of another. 

"Acts of Parliament derogatory from the power of subse- 
quent Parliaments bind not," runs the definition. 

"God Almighty, boys," ejaculated the bewildered Rumph, 
"that's what I call high dick (dictionary)." I think it was 
the unusual position of the word "not" that puzzled brother 
Rumph. 

Shep Dugger, author of The Balsam Groves of the Grand- 
father, was the poet of the class, and though our sister state, 
South Carolina, had its poet, we boys were willing to back 
our Shep against the world. While Coogler, the South Caro- 
lina bard, might produce such melodious lines as 

Alas for the South her books have grown fewer 
She never was given to literature, 

our Shep rose higher and struck a loftier note: 

I seen my pa come stepping high 
'Twas of his walk the way . . . 

A utilitarian, in thought and practice, Brother George 
finally became impatient with theory and theorists. Philos- 
ophy he called Foolosophy. Bacon, John Stuart Mill, and 
Macaulay he greatly admired. Humanity interested him, the 
individual did not. Man he considered but a cog in the 
wheel Nature, so prodigal of the individual, so careful of 
the type. Napoleon, a mere blusterer; Pasteur, the patient 
student of nature, far his superior. Nothing so disgusted 
Brother as the fellow who strutted around, posing and spread- 



LAW A JEALOUS US 

ing his tail feathers. "Peacockery-fuss and he 

would sneer. 

Now, these utilitarian notions did not 
me. Like Father, I was spiritually minded* As 1 it 

out, matter and spirit are somehow different. Water be 
nothing more than hydrogen and oxygen, but a 
is more than the laboratory can discover. Yet I 
this confession, though I was a professed and my 

brother a thorough-going Rationalist, he was the 
of the two. While I was busy looking out for self, lie 
busy looking out for the other fellow, dreaming of the 
when the poor boy in the South, as in New England, 
start in the primary school and go through high school and 
university at the public expense. 

I would not overrate Brother's influence, and yet a few 
facts are significant, indicating that he impressed others as 
well as myself. In the History, President Battle accorded 
him the highest praise. The University selected him to pre- 
pare the comprehensive Brief, which set forth her claim to 
popular favor and no doubt gave her a new lease of life. So 
great was his influence with the students, the faculty and the 
trustees, that he soon became president of the college. From 
his classroom went forth many scholars who became prom- 
inent in business and in the professions. The case of Edwin 
A. Alderman is Interesting, he having become president of 
the University of North Carolina, of Tulane and of Virginia. 

When Alderman entered the University he was so poorly 
prepared that he rarely attained the honor roIL In troth, the 
record shows that he was deficient in mathematics and in the 
sciences. But in Latin and German, which he took under 
Professor Winston, he became a real scholar, gradually rising 
from the grade of 70, as a freshman, to the grade of 90 odd, 
as a senior. The professor of Latin often remarked that he 
considered Alderman the most accomplished stylist he ever 
taught. Alderman took the full four-year course and became 



116 LAW A JEALOUS MISTRESS 

so proficient that he could read Cicero and Virgil and Horace 
and the rest at sight. 

One morning, Dr. Cornelia Phillips Spencer, an excellent 
linguist but of the old school and quite averse to the new 
Continental pronunciation Kiser for Caesar, Kikero for Cic- 
ero, Wayne, weede, weeke, for Veni, vidi, vici visited the 
four-year class in Latin, consisting of Alderman and only one 
other student. At the moment, Alderman was translating an 
oration of Edward Everett into the Latin of Tacitus pro- 
nounced Tackituse. So thoroughly did the young student 
perform his task and so greatly impress Mrs. Spencer that she 
sent an account of her visit to the Presbyterian Stmdwrd. 
"Really, Mr. Alderman's performance out-Tockatused Tock- 
atuse!" she wrote. 

I must not, however, over-emphasize this phase of college 
Hf e. I was back at the University to study law, not to discuss 
philosophy or biology. I was now on my own resources, as 
Father's farms had become non-productive and his health was 
declining. Hence I must cease to drift with the tide, I must 
pay my own way through the law school. Gladly I ac- 
cepted the position as tutor of Latin and mathematics, at a 
salary of $100 a year, tuition thrown in for good measure. 
Two precious hours each day were thus wasted, but I did 
not feel the double burden. Young and vigorous, with a heart 
set upon the goal, I did not count the cost. Like St. Paul, 
I determined that this one thing I would do. I would study 
law to the exclusion of all else. Law became my jealous mis- 
tress. Blackstone's Commentaries and Adams' Eqmty wholly 
absorbed me. 

A political canvass was waging, Jarvis, a conservative 
statesman, opposing Buxton, a high-grade Republican, for 
the governorship. General Hancock was a candidate for 
President, against General Garfield. But these exciting cam- 
paigns did not interest me; I remember one incident only, the 
fatal remark of Hancock that the tariff was a local issue. This 



LAW A 117 

obvious truth, like many be Gen- 

eral Hancock, surnamed the Superb, in the 

South because of Ms connection with the of 

Surratt. When Airs. Surratt was charged with the of 

Lincoln, Hancock was the marshal the 

in the case. A writ of corpus to by 

a judge in Washington, but he refused to obey it. he 

executed the writ, and produced Mrs. Surratt in court, 
than likely she would have been acquitted, as her son 
was two years later. In behalf of Hancock it be 

he followed instructions from the Attorney to the 

effect that the writ had been suspended by Congress. 

After a year at the law school I went down to the 
and applied for license to practice. And all but failed! Chief 
Justice Smith overwhelmed me with the most difficult, obso- 
lete questions common law practice and procedure which 
had long ago been abolished by statute. I have always 
thought the learned jurist did this to try me out and not to 
flunk me, his friendship for Father being a precious memory. 

After the examinations were concluded, Thomas Ruffin, 
one of the examiners and a son of the great Chief Justice of 
the same name, came over and asked where I intended to 
practice law. 

"In Oxford, sir," I replied. 

"Merciful Heavens!" he exclaimed. "I would sooner have 
the seven years' itch than hear an Oxford lawyer cross- 
examine a witness!" 

It was one of those rare days in June when, with law license 
and college degree Robertas Watson Winston, Artimn Bac- 
calaureus Universitas Septent. Carol. I set out upon my 
life-work, a penniless limb of the law. Never again to dream 
away idle days, never again to play checkers and croquet 
and knucks on the streets of Windsor, never to hear Charlie 
Shepherd's banjo ringing out, 

Down by the riverside. 



BOOK TWO 
ROOT HOG OR DIE 



CHAPTER XI 

"WELL, LAWYER, YOU'VE LOST 
YOUR CLIENTS" 

UPON arriving at my new home, with less five 
in my pocket, I was put to my trumps. Forthwith I 
to a well-established lawyer, and asked admission his 

firm. "My God! young man," he replied, "I'm no lawyer, 
why, I don't even know the canons of descent." He 
went on to urge me, for God's sake, not to settle in a 
town. "Go to some big place, as Sonny Sneed did. Why, a 
dozen years ago, Sneed left us and went to Memphis, and 
today is a great lawyer." But my ambition did not soar so 
high; I was quite content with the little town of Oxford. 

As the older lawyers had no need of a junior, I set out on 
my own hook. I rented an oddly shaped office -tea by 
twenty above Ellis' bar, paying three dollars a month, 
bought two or three split-bottom chairs at fifty cents each, 
rigged up a second-hand King heater, borrowed a slash pine 
table from my landlord, begged a Clark's O.N.T. spool-cot- 
ton receptacle from Landis's store and set it on my table. I 
spread out my scant stock of books, engaged room and board 
at Sheriff Jim Crews' popular home, with sleeping quarters 
in the attic, hung up a tin sign with large, yellow letters- 
Robert W. Winston, Attorney & Counselor-at-Law and 
waited for clients. But no clients came. Whereupon I 
hustled around for other means of subsistence. 

Interviewing the owner of our weekly paper, The Torch 
Light, I satisfied him I was the very man needed as editor. 
The only terms I exacted were that under no circumstances 
was iny name to appear at the masthead, nor was it to be 

121 



122 "YOU'VE LOST YOUR CLIENTS" 

known that I was connected therewith. These precautions 
I took because I knew the law to be a jealous mistress and a 
lawyer must be a lawyer and nothing else. This work 
brought in ten dollars a month. My income was further in- 
creased by the sum of seventy-five dollars which I earned, 
laboring, night after night, calculating the tax list. But still 
not a soul came to gladden my heart. 

Finally a client did show up, a barkeeper, charged with an 
assault, and conducted into my office by one of the strangest 
characters I ever knew, a mouthy, irresponsible, big-hearted 
young lawyer, a shyster in fact, whom everyone liked and 
no one trusted. "Winston," he smiled, "this is Bob Rice, 
charged with hitting a nigger over the head with a brickbat. 
Come over to Squire Blacknall's office at three and help me 
out and I'll split fees with you." Of course I accepted and 
set about to look up the law and scrutinize the bill, to see if 
it would hold water. And, to my great delight, I discovered 
it was defective. 

Precisely at three o'clock I marched over to the Squire's 
office, armed with my authority, and rose and moved to 
quash the bill because it did not specify the size and shape and 
weight of the brick with which my client had beaten and 
wounded and maltreated the aforesaid prosecutor. This posi- 
tion I fortified by a recent decision. Squire Blacknall staid 
and pompous, once having owned a hundred slaves and a 
thousand acres of land, but now threadbareheard my mo- 
tion, looked very wise, hesitated a moment and then wrote, 
"Action dismissed, at the cost of the prosecution." 

Never was there a happier young lawyer than I, as I 
strutted out of the Squire's court and crossed over to my 
office, where my associate and I discussed the fee and agreed 
on twenty-five dollars, one-half to him and the other to me. 

"And now," said he, "here's your half." And he handed 
me an order on our client for $12.50. "Mr. R. W. Rice," 
the order ran. "Please pay to R, W. Winston, Esq., At- 



"YOU'VE LOST 123 

torney-at-Law, the of $12.50, the 

owe me." 

In a few I In Rice's bar to my 

of the fee. "Bob," I, with W I 

you to let me have the cash, at once, as Fm a up*** 

Rice glanced at the note and broke a 
"12.50? Me owe $12.50? Why, damit, that's the 
amount that rascal owes me!" 

Undoubtedly, the most helpless of God's is the 

young professional man, starting life without money, 
or backing. Day after day and month after month, he sits 
and waits for an unappreciative public to recognize his ex- 
traordinary talents. But no one does. The old lawyers carry 
the ball, the young sons of Themis stay on the sidelines and 
watch the game. But I finally discovered a hole in the oppos- 
ing team. Though the lawyers I was up against were orators 
and scholars they were self-centered and had that most hurt- 
ful of defects, slothfulness in business. This weakness gave 
me my chance and I did not fail to embrace it. I answered 
letters the day they came. I kept long office hours, attended 
public gatherings, and got acquainted with the country 
people, made speeches here and there and was always spoiling 
for a fight. So spry and active was I that Tom Clements, 
the Clerk of our Court, paid me a great compliment* Said 
he, "Winston, you don't dance so powerful well, but what 
you kck in style you make up in turning around!" 

I likewise discovered that my opponents were quite out of 
date. They clung to the old common-law practice and re- 
fused to accept the new-fangled Code which the Yankee 
Colonel Tourgee had brought down from New York and 
superimposed upon our jurisprudence. This pig-headed atti- 
tude gave me a decided advantage. While they were busy 
quoting musty opinions of Marshall and Ruffin and Gaston, 
I was busy with the Code and the new statutes which often 
superseded said opinions. I remember one case in which 



124 "YOU'VE LOST YOUR CLIENTS' 7 

I was opposed by a caustic, erratic, and almost fantastic at- 
torney named Colonel Leonidas Edwards. 

I had filed a complaint a bHl in equity to remove a cloud 
from title. The bill alleged that my client had a good title 
to his lot and the defendant unlawfully claimed an adverse 
interest, casting a cloud which I asked the court to remove. 
Now, until a recent statute, such suit would have been dis- 
missed, because the bill stated that the plaintiff had a good 
title. "If the plaintiff has a good tide," the Old Court had 
said, "why ask our aid?" But a recent statute had over- 
ridden the decision, enacting that anyone so aggrieved might 
bring just such suit as I had brought. At the trial my oppo- 
nent appeared perfectly confident, in truth, he seemed to pity 
me. Quoting from Chief Justice Ruffin that such an action 
would not He being useless, vain and a mere trifling with the 
courtthe Colonel excused the "mistake of his young friend 
who had only recently donned the legal toga and come to the 
bar." After a while my time came to address the Chancellor 
and I merely handed up the statute enacted to cover the case 
in hand. So signal was my success along this line, and so 
often did my Code and statutes trip up the older lawyers, that 
they resented my conduct and charged me with taking short 
cuts. 

On another occasion I had equally good luck. Colonel 
Venable had taken a judgment by default, for want of an an- 
swer, and had issued an execution against the defendant, who 
had actually paid several thousand dollars into the clerk's 
office for the plaintiff's use. At this desperate stage, the de- 
fendant wandered into my office, as a last resort, and em- 
ployed me. And the matter did seem hopeless. But a young 
lawyer, like a fool, will rush in where angels fear to tread. 
It must be remembered, indeed, that a great English barrister 
once said that no case is so desperate but that it may be Tf on 
by skill and attention. 4 1 therefore turned to the Code, for 
I bethought myself that the plaintiff's lawyer so greatly 



"YOU'VE LOST 125 

it Be had to Its 

requirements. And so he had. He had to his 

swear to the complaint, a to a 

by default. The result was, the was set the 

case reopened and won by the defendant, 
returned to him. 

Naturally, Venable was furious and to 

his neighbor, the canny Scotch merchant, Crawford 
grandfather, by the way, of Crawford Biggs, recently 
tor General of the United States. 

"Umph, umph!" the Colonel sniffed. "It's a sir, 

such doings as that. Why, Fd starve before Yd practice law 
like that little fellow Winston," 

"Look here, Tom," was the dry reply, "if you don't stop 
grouching and go to studying, that little fellow, as you call 
him, will get all your business/ 1 

It must not be concluded that I won these cases when I 
first began to practice. It was several years before I could 
fight my way to the front. And yet my period of waiting 
was shorter than usual, due perhaps to the first case I had in 
the "big court." It was an appeal from a ten-dollar fine im- 
posed by the mayor for the violation of a town ordinance 
relating to pubHc drunkenness. Now the facts of the case 
were all against me, as my client, old Uncle Lawson Wright, 
the efficient, colored blacksmith, had undoubtedly been very 
tight on the public streets so tight that he could not navigate. 
But, remembering that Father had taught me when the facts 
were adverse to come out strong on the law I consulted the 
books, with the result that I discovered the town ordinance 
was defective. This defect consisted in a failure to specify 
the punishment which the mayor should inflict. The ordi- 
nance was so vague that it was null and void. On my motion 
the case was dismissed. In a few days, the town fathers came 
around laughing and paid me twenty-five dollars to shape up 
their ordinances! 



126 "YOU'VE LOST YOUR CLIENTS" 

From the relentless way I handled these cases an important 
conclusion may be drawn. I was not a reformer nor an 
op-lifter. I was a lawyer, with no purpose in view but suc- 
cesssuccess at any hazard, except at the expense of profes- 
sional decorum. When the Scotch advocate, Lord Brougham, 
was defending Queen Caroline, and shaking the Throne 
itself, he declared that if his duty, as attorney, caused the dis- 
ruption of the British Empire so be it, the Kingdom must go 
and not his client. Brougham's rule was my rule. I frankly 
admit that when I represented a client, I lost sight of all else 
except success. Gmdmm certtmmisthe cry of the hounds- 
engrossed me. 

At this point it may be well to refer to a popular notion 
that a lawyer should refuse to appear for a guilty party, a 
subject which Boswell once broached to Dr. Johnson. 

"Sir," said Boswell, "are not lawyers in danger of losing 
their character, always acting and playing a part?" 

"Why, no, sir," retorted the Doctor. "Why should they? 
The public understand the business. In the circus the tum- 
blers are paid to tumble. Do we think any less of them on 
that account?" 

If it be objected that Johnson was referring to an indifferent 
matter whereas litigation is serious, I would reply that I prac- 
ticed law forty years, defending hundreds of criminal cases, 
and not a single defendant ever admitted his guilt to me. But 
I go a step further. I maintain that the functions of the 
lawyer, on the one side, and the judge and jury, on the other, 
are totally distinct. The duty of judge and jury is the pur- 
suit of truth; the duty of the lawyer is to win his case, by all 
honorable means. 

And how is justice thwarted by this arrangement? Does 
not the lawyer on one side neutralize the lawyer on the other; 
are not honors easy? Undoubtedly so. Moreover, the clash 
of wit, the wealth of illustration, the appeal to passion, the 
cut and tierce, this sword-play, clarifies the ak so a just judge 



"YOU'VE LOST 127 

and an jury 1 add that 

In all history, as far as I know, is but a 

of a prisoner's to his and that was 

in the of the Crown Courvoisier, a 

with murdering his Lord John 

Phillips was representing the prisoner and, just as he to 

address the jury, was called to the dock by the 

"Mr. Phillips," the prisoner whispered, "I wish to tell 
I am guilty." 

"Then, of course, you do not expect me to speak?" 

"Oh, yes, I do," the prisoner replied. "I wish you to 
make a better speech than ever." 

Greatly perturbed, Phillips consulted the presiding 
who advised that it was his duty to proceed regularly. The 
prisoner was convicted and hanged. The incident of the con- 
fession soon reached the London Time$ y which savagely at- 
tacked Phillips, insisting that he should be unfrocked. The 
Times charged that he, knowing his client to be a murderer, 
had told the jury the servant girl was the guilty party, and not 
his client. Under this accusation the attorney remained silent 
for many a year, but at length gave the facts to the public. 
The record, indeed, shows that the Times was in error when 
it charged Phillips with laying the crime at the door of the 
girl. What he said was this, "Gentlemen of the jury, you 
ask me if the prisoner at the bar is not the guilty party, who 
is? I reply, Ask not me, a fallible mortal like yourselves, 
ask the God who made him." 

I once witnessed an unusual case along the same liaea 
suit to set aside a fraudulent compromise. It seems that the 
guardian of an infant, named Lucy Barnett, had given a bond 
of $10,000 for the faithful performance of his duties, with 
Reams and Lockhart as sureties. In the course of time the 
guardian wasted the estate, and the sureties were called upon 
to pay the bond. One of them came in and compromised 
by paying $1,000 and taking a receipt in full satisfaction. 



128 "YOU'VE LOST YOUR CLIENTS" 

Soon after, the young woman, by her uncle, Colonel Ed- 
wards, sued the other surety. But he was wise enough to 
employ a strong law firm, Graham and Ruffin, who filed an 
answer claiming that the release of one surety had released 
all. Now this is a correct principle. Sureties are favorites of 
the law. If one surety is released, all are released. The suit, 
therefore, was brought to set aside the release for fraud and 
to recover the amount of the bond. 

At the trial, the attorney who had compromised with the 
surety was put upon the witness stand, and he admitted his 
connection with the matter. "But," said he, "I had no idea 
in the world that when we released Lockhart we released 
Reams and the other sureties." In other words, he was ig- 
norant of the law. Presently, the attorney who represented 
the released surety was called and asked if he knew that, 
when the release was executed, the other sureties were 
thereby discharged. 

"Of course I knew it," was the reply. 

"Did you make that fact known to the poor girl sitting 
here by my side?" 

"I did not." 

"And pray, why not, sir?" 

"She had a lawyer, I did not represent her." 

"So you concealed an important fact, did you, sir?" 

"Not at all. I concealed a point of law." 

Upon this state of facts the case went to the jury, Edwards 
bitterly denouncing the lawyers who had swindled an inno- 
cent girl out of her estate. "Lucy Barnett's lawyer," sneered 
the Colonel, "why, he was a hopeless fool, a blockhead who 
should be disbarred for ignorance. But as to Lockhart's at- 
torney, who sat by and participated in this shocking fraud, 
as to him, ignorance may not be pleaded. He admits his 
guilt. He knew an innocent girl was being swindled, yet 
opened not his mouth. Ah, gentlemen, had he spoken up, 
had he said, Til not be a party to this fraud/ he would today 



"YOU'VE LOST 129 

be considered an lawyer. Aye f sir f he be 

as an man." 

^Piffle, poppy-cock! " "Why, 

what is a lawsuit but civilized warfare, a of 

passion from the tented field to the Is It the 

of the general of one army to his to his op- 

ponent? What would you have thought of Lee 
at ChancellorsvHle, after they had laid to Gen- 

eral Hooker, had they sent a courier through the a 

message of warning? The mere suggestion is 
It provokes a smile. Yes, gentlemen, I repeat, law is war! 
And when you, Mr. Smith, or you, Mr. Brown, or you, Mr. 
Jones (pointing a finger at each juror as he called his name), 
come to my office and employ me as your attorney to repre- 
sent your Interest, rest assured, sir, I shall represent you, and 
you alone nor will I represent your adversary or give him 
any advice." 

Under the Judge's charge, the release was upheld and Lucy 
Barnett lost her little fortune. No doubt she might have 
sued her attorney for negligence but such suit would have 
been useless as he was Insolvent. The case indeed would 
have been the old one of suing a beggar and catching a loose! 

Harsh and cruel as It may sound, a lawyer, like a soldier, 
follows the flag, asks no questions, gives no quarter. Tooth 
and claw Is his rale* Certainly this was my rule. When my 
fighting blood was up I preferred a desperate case to a good 
one. Any lawyer may win. an easy lawsuit but It takes a 
real lawyer to win a bad one. \ recall just such a case, which 
I defended when I first came to the bar. The prisoner was 
charged with stealing a horse from the stables of a Mrs. Amis, 
and, before the committing magistrate, had gone upon the 
stand and confessed, telling all about the transaction, how 
he entered the stables and untied the animal and rode it away. 
So manifest was his guilt that Squire StovaU bound over to 



130 "YOU'VE LOST YOUR CLIENTS" 

court two witnesses only, Mrs. Amis, the owner, and himself, 
who had heard the prisoner confess his guilt. 

In desperation the prisoner's kinspeople employed me, a 
mere tyro, to handle the matter. Now, at that rime, there 
happened to be a new statute which provided that no confes- 
sion should be received unless the prisoner, when he became 
a witness, had been cautioned as to his rights. This caution 
was three-fold. First, that he need not be a witness unless 
he desired. Second, that what he said might be used against 
him. Third, that his failure to become a witness could not 
be used to his disadvantage. Armed with this statute I took 
a seat inside the bar and my client was brought in and given 
a chair by my side. 

Presently the case was reached, and Mrs. Amis was called 
as a witness. She described her horse and said it had been 
stolen. The thief had kept the animal two or three days, 
when a neighbor discovered it and it was recovered. She 
likewise testified that she was acquainted with the prisoner, 
who lived in her neighborhood and was considered the most 
notorious thief in the county. 

"Stop, stop!" I exclaimed. "I object, Your Honor, to 
that last statement." The Judge excluded the matter ob- 
jected to, and the next witness was called. He testified that 
he had bound over to court the prisoner, who, at the hearing, 
had gone on the witness stand and freely confessed the theft. 

"One moment, please, Squire," I quietly interposed. 

"Now, Your Honor," I said, "I ask leave to examine this 
witness." 

My request was granted and I proceeded to examine Squire 
Stovall on what is called the voir dire, these words being dog- 
Latin and meaning, to speak the truth. 

"Squire," I began, very gently, "at the preliminary hearing, 
when the prisoner became a witness, did you caution him he 
need not testify unless he wished to?" 

"Certainly, I did, sir." 



"YOU'VE 131 

"But you did not go on and tell he 

be did you? 5 * 

"I did, sir." 

Si Did you him any further Squire? n 

**Why, no. What other there?" 

"Precisely, Squire. I simply the No%v, 

understand each other. You cautioned the he 

need not be a witness and if he did what he be 

used against him, is that correct?" 

"That's right, sir just as 1 always do.** 

"And that was aU the caution, you gave?" 

"Certainly. Haven't I said that already, three or four 
times?" 

"On that state of facts, Your Honor," said I, "I ask 
the alleged confession be excluded." 

The Judge read the statute and reluctantly excluded the 
confession. As the state had no further evidence* a verdict 
of Not Guilty was entered and the prisoner was discharged. 
And, in the next issue of the Torch Light, Mrs, Amis de- 
nounced the entire legal profession, myself included. She 
charged that the Court had turned loose a notorious horse 
thief, and I had won the case upon a technicality. Where- 
upon, my practice grew, by leaps and bounds. The public 
seemed to be more eager for a successful lawyer than for a 
Sunday School teacher! 

Occasionally, I was indebted to a client for winning. Such 
was the case against a defendant, named Green, in a suit 
against him by a bank which had purchased Ms note for two 
thousand dollars. A Mr. Burwell had died heavily indebted, 
though at the time of his death it was thought he had left 
an estate free of debt. His heirs, therefore, concluded they 
could sell his land. This they did, Green becoming the pur- 
chaser of two hundred acres for four thousand dollars, pay- 
ing two thousand cash and giving his note for the balance. 
It was this note the bank had acquired and upon it was 



132 "YOU'VE LOST YOUR CLIENTS" 

bringing suit. The bank claimed to be an innocent pur- 
chaser and entitled to recover, despite any defense which the 
maker Green might have. The defendant's reply was that the 
transaction was a fraud; he was an innocent victim, having 
purchased the land and paid two thousand dollars and given 
his note for the balance and that the title was defective and 
the land had been taken away from him by the creditors of 
the deceased. In a word, Green maintained that he was 
called upon to pay four thousand dollars for something he 
never got. 

Of course, I supported my equity by allegations of fraud. 
I urged that my client was wholly unused to courts and court 
proceedings, was unacquainted with law, and depended on 
the grantors for a good title; in fact was poor and illiterate, 
and, if required to pay the note, would suffer irreparable in- 
jury, and be stripped naked and become an object of charity. 

After the argument, the Judge decided with Green and 
restrained further proceedings, and at the recess, when my 
client was untying his wallet to pay the balance of my fee, he 
snickered and said, 

"Lawyer, you didn't win that case, / won it." 

"How so, Green?" I asked. 

"Didn't you see me, lawyer?" 

"No, I didn't see you. What was there to see?" 

"Why, lawyer, when you got up there and scandalized me 
and said I was a plumb fool, I played the fool, I did. I just 
squatted down in my chair, and tucked my neck in my coat 
collar and walled my eyes, good fashion!" 

"And the God's pity is, the Judge hadn't jailed you," I 
laughed. 

The case of Mrs. Sally Meadows had a similar ending. 
The old lady owned a farm which she conveyed to her 
nephew, on a verbal agreement that she might live with him 
the balance of her life and he would support her. A fee- 
simple deed was accordingly made to Stem, and he and his 



"YOU'VE LOST YOUR CLIENTS** 133 

aunt till the 

then The widow the 

put Mrs. Meadows out in the big road. The old 

to employ a more her 

case was so desperate, to me. And the was 

complicated. The deed could not be set it 

was written just as the parties intended. There no 
since Mr. Stem had acted in good faith, and had 
with his contract to support his aunt. Finally I the 

matter out this way: I concluded to sue for a breach of the 
contract of support and to proceed against the land, 
to the jury to fix a sum so large as to cover the entire tract. 

An intelligent jury was selected, one member a 

scholar, named Bullock, a planter and a lover of Shakespearean 
plays. When I came to address the Twelve I took the pa- 
thetic story of Lear as my theme, knowing that Bullock 
would be interested and that he controlled the other eleven. 
The defendant I likened to Lear's cruel daughters, Regan 
and Goneril, who had accepted their father's gifts and then 
had cast him out, poor and defenseless. 

"Yes, gentlemen," said I, "and so did this defendant with 
old lady Meadows. They accepted her gifts, took possession 
of her home and then cast her out in the storm, where the 
winds howled and the thunder rolled and the lightning played 
and the rain soaked her to the very skin. . . j" 

At this point I was suddenly interrupted. Men rushing 
inside the bar, and the Judge, from the bench, calling out, 
"Water, ice water!" 

I looked around and there, flat upon the floor, lay my 
client, in a dead faint, her stiff, cotton, bombazine dress and 
crinoline petticoat elevated by a set of old-fashioned hoop 
skirts. Pretty soon the old lady came to, and as they lifted 
her back into a chair, pale and corpse-like, my facetious 
cousin, Charlie Cooke, whispered, so loud everyone could 



134 "YOU'VE LOST YOUR CLIENTS" 

hear him, "Bob, old fellow, you came mighty nigh overplay- 
ing your hand that time!" 

The jury retired and gave Mrs. Meadows a verdict for 
three thousand dollars, and in a few weeks the land was sold 
and bought in by her for a trifle less than the amount of the 
judgment. This little incident may show that there are more 
ways of killing a dog than by choking him to death with 
melted butter! 

Now, in neither the Green case nor the Meadows case did 
I participate in my client's theatricals* I knew nothing what- 
soever about what they intended to do. In fact, I may say 
that as far as I ever went coaching clients was to caution them 
as to dress and manner and deportment on the witness stand. 
In the matter of tampering with a witness, I was scrupulous. 
Perjury is bad, but subornation of perjury is worse, as this 
offense is usually committed by the educated and the well- 
to-do. With female clients I was frank, advising them that 
the courtroom was not a parlor, nor was a lawsuit a social 
gathering. Therefore they must cut out all finery and put on 
no dog. If they would answer plainly and carefully and 
without affectation, everything would be well. 

The story is told of a famous New York lawyer that he 
would ascertain the facts necessary to win his case and then 
say to the witnesses, "See here, men, in this case I wish you 
to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, and the truth is 
this." Then he would proceed to state what the witnesses 
were expected to tell. Such conduct was reprehensible. 
Justice should not be tampered with, nor should the fountain 
be polluted at the source. On the contrary, all squeamish- 
ness and kid-glove suggestions that a lawyer should be a 
parlor-knight, and sift and weigh and accept only good cases, 
is flatly absurd. 

The lawyer must deal with human nature as he finds it 
rough, elemental, red in tooth and daw. And when these 
things are taken into account and we consider the raw ma- 



"YOU'VE LOST 135 

which we that 

as as of 

eminent. Indeed, I acted OE no It 

would be hurtful to society I to 

and prejudge them. If all this 

the profession would grow to be a a 

torship. In a word, lawyers would become lawyer, judge, 
and jury, ail In one. 

In a book by Hardwlck called The Art of 
the author sets out numerous rales to guide the lawyer la pro- 
fessional conduct. Rule XV declares that when a 
defends a person charged with a crime of the dye, 

and the evidence leaves no doubt of guilt, he should not ex- 
ert himself, nor do his best, but should submit the case with- 
out argument. This rule I consider a reflection upon the 
profession. A lawyer should either decline to appear or 
should go his full length. At all events, such was my plan, 
adopted when I was twenty-one and adhered to until I was 
old and gray-headed. How well do I remember the first time 
I was tested out and had to stand up against the community 
in which I lived. 

A splendid citizen, the town jeweler, had been foully mur- 
dered as he was walking home on a dark, drizzly night- 
struck from behind with a billet of wood and robbed of his 
basket of silverware. So shocking was the crime, as news of 
it swept over the town, that terrified and pregnant mothers 
were prematurely delivered. Two negroes,, Shadrack Hester 
and John Brodie, were soon arrested, and the evidence against 
them seemed conclusive. Thereupon, John*$ old mammy, 
Rowan Brodie, chose me as her lawyer, paying fifteen dollars 
cash and promising thirty-five more. With tears in her eyes, 
she said she could prove that her son was in another town at 
the time of the murder. 

It was ten at night, in bleak November, and I was in my 
little office busy examining the negro witnesses in this hor- 



136 "YOU'VE LOST YOUR CLIENTS" 

rible affair when "Blam, blam, blam!" I heard heavy foot- 
falls on the steps, followed by a loud knocking on my office 
door. And then Captain Gus Landis surged in, bursting 
with anger. 

"Young man," said he, looking me straight in the eye, "I 
have somewhat to say to you." 

"All right, Captain, what is it?" 

"In the hall, sir, and not in here." 

I followed my angry friend to the head of the steps. He 
roared, 

"By God, are you going to defend them damn niggers?" 

"Yes, Captain/' I said. "The old mother has" 

"Damn that old-mother business. Haven't you got sense 
enough to keep out of that mess?" 

"Now, Captain," I appeased. 

"Don't come any of that soft sawder stuff on me, young 
man. Fm here to warn you, and that I have done." 

"Captain Landis," I replied, pulling myself together, "I 
came to this town to play a man's part and not a baby's, and, 
so help me God, I shall live a man and die a man. . . . And 
one thing more, Captain, when you led your men along the 
Chickahominy and up the heights of Malvern Hill, did you 
skulk and seek a bombproof place?" 

"By God, Bob," he exclaimed, "you are right. Give me 
your hand." 

And, "Blam, blam, blam!", the old soldier went down the 
steps, step by step, his heavy walking cane, which he always 
carried in his left hand, smiting each step as he went. 

It was long after midnight before I finished examining the 
witnesses and making notes of their statements. And as I 
went to my boarding-house, I heard strange voices over 
against the jail, where my clients were incarcerated. "It is 
a late hour of the night to be bringing in a prisoner," I 
thought. 

Next morning, as I entered Sheriff Crews' dining room 



"YOU'VE LOST YOUR 137 

for a the 

the up 

ic We!l, lawyer, you lost clients.** 

"I don't you, Sheriff." 

**Why, Shadrack and John, last 



CHAPTER XII 
A CONVENIENT NEGRO WOMAN 

SAM ELLIS' bar was a modest resort frequented by elderly 
people and others who wished a drink on the sly. A gentle- 
manly, soft-spoken fellow, Sam soon became one of my warm 
supporters. In truth the barkeepers generally seemed to take 
a fancy to me, due, no doubt, to the fact that I was not always 
reforming something. The Ellis building was a small, two- 
story affair and on the second floor three lawyers had offices: 
Thurston Hicks, an intellectual prodigy, so opinionated that 
he invariably floated up stream; a bedizened, dilapidated Con- 
federate Colonel; and myself. 

In a few years Hicks became a Liberal and then a Republi- 
can, several times heading the state judicial ticket. The 
Colonel's quarters were directly in front of mine and a door 
led from his office to his sleeping apartment. The dear old 
fellow was pathetic. An only son and, before the war, heir 
to great riches, he had married a beautiful girl, who soon 
died, leaving no children. He was now a widower and not 
only alone in the world but almost destitute. Yet he made a 
brave show. 

In the inferior courts and in the court of Hanson Hughes, 
the negro justice of the peace, he cut quite a figure and 
managed to earn enough money to keep body and soul to- 
gether. Though not a profound lawyer, the queer old citizen, 
was an interesting character, well-versed in the writings of 
the English humorists, Tobias Smollett and Thomas Fielding 
and of the American humorists, Baldwin and Longstreet. He 
never addressed a jury without bringiag in Tom Jones or 
your Uacle Toby or Tristram Shandy's bull or Ransy Sniffles 

138 



A 139 

or Sugg* Twice a the 

and the old the Ws 

and dyed jet on his 

a cane, 

a slick coat 

The Colonel's were a up 

and ends. Old and frayed French 

drapery. Davenports, and not 

wreckage of wondrous, days five 

slaves called him young master. Three a 

woman woold come to Ms rooms with a of 

take down from a carved walnut sideboard 
of broken china-ware. A Wedgwood teapot with a 
spout, cracked and broken cups, plates and saucers the 
Sevres. Sundry pieces of dingy silver, bearing the crest of an 
old English family. Every Sunday night this woman, in a 
neat homespun frock, would enter the Colonel's rooms 
remain till morning. For it must be said that the old 
solaced himself and sought to overcome loneliness and desti* 
tution by the consortium of an humble creature of an 0ppo~ 
site color, who so completely worshiped him as to recall 
something of the happy past. 

One day I strolled over to the Colonel's office, as I often 
did, to discuss Georgia Scenes and Flush Tmes m 
and contrast Baldwin and Longstreet with Mark Twain, but 
I found the office vacant. Gently I tapped on die bedroom 
door. There was no response. The Colonel was dead. And 
when we buried Mm I noticed a drooping female figure, off in 
the shrubbery, crouched down to the very earth, and wiping 
away streaming tears. 

Now, such sexual irregularity, as we have seen, was not 
infrequent in the South of the 'yoV'So's. The wealthiest 
bachelor in our little town, a man of iron nerve and winning 
personality, kept a mulatto woman and raised a family. The 



148 A WOMAN 

he to be In the course of time 

lie the Episcopal church 

and his to society. But what a 

his Great preparation had been 

for his away. There were to be a vested choir 

and and wreaths of flowers. But alas, on 

the he his mulatto children came down from 

New York and Philadelphia and took possession. 

They the chambers. They did the funeral 

the in creped hats, the women in black with 

there was a great to-do. The artistic 

to play, the choir backed down, the preacher 

cold feet, the congregation stayed away. A lone 

by two carriages filled with mulattos, passed 

down Street on their way to God's Acre, as the 

crowd on the sidewalk and satisfied their curiosity. 

Not the fact of cohabitation but the idea of social equality 

queered the game. 

Nor was our cultured litde village exceptional in this 
matter. There was scarcely a community in the South but 
the young men and bachelors and the widowers cohabited 
with colored girls* And, as we shall presently see, it was not 
considered a disgrace it was a mere irregularity. The most 
aggressive advocate of white supremacy and of negro sup- 
pression might keep a mulatto woman, not to elevate her, not 
to degrade himself, not to break down the caste system, but 
to satisfy the engulfing sex urge. The bravest man in our 
midst; a leader in perilous political fights, the chief of the 
Red Shirts, a very rakehell, this young fellow gratified his 
passions with a mulatto woman, 

In a former chapter I promised to explain* if I might, why 

were so many mulattos in the South, perhaps three 

out of a negro population of thirteen millions. The 

answer may be found in aa analysis of the second instance of 



A 141 

that of the a 

i!y. Let us ten of all 

1880, and by the Let 

us also that a of 

by the year 1925, forty had and 

had had four It will be that the 

of one one 

produced* in the course of rime, 

This then is the to be on tie in- 

Close. But the contrary, as we see, is 

Certainly mulattos born in our day are of 
and not of white. 

A more interesting question than the increase of 
however is this: Why should a white man, in that day, 
cohabited with a negro woman in preference to a 
woman? In the first place the colored women were 
appreciative than the white, nor did they feel any of 

shame. Then again little risk or danger accompanied the 
act* There were no male relatives to settle with, no 
ceremony, no expensive establishment to keep up. 
did not have to be clothed, fed and educated. If 
were bom, they lived in the outhouse with their mammy, who 
fed them from the table. The cast-off clothes of the estab- 
lishment hid their nakedness, pine knots and fallen trees fur- 
nished firebote to warm them. 

But there may have been a deeper significance to the in- 
timacy of a white man and a black woman than mere con- 
venience or economy, and that was the ecstasy of the per- 
formance due to the erotic fury of the female* Undoubtedly 
the most irresistible of human passions is the thirst of a 
for a woman. And the solution of this vexed problem of sex 
indulgence the Old South imagined it had reached. As to 
the white woman, as soon as she reached the age of puberty, 
she was expected to marry. Thereby, she escaped the com- 
pletes incident to sex repression. 



142 A CONVENIENT WOMAN 

As to the he later in life, he 

by with a colored 

a to as much more 

a white as the colored 

the oversexed. In a word, the 

of the reduced itself to its lowest expres- 

Just as and thirst. The African woman often, 

the efflorescence, became drunk and went 

a of frenzy. 

It not be overlooked that most negroes were bar- 

when brought to America* And, as Letoumeau ob- 
serves, in Africa marriage does not exist: promiscuity 
is the rule. There is BO word to signify love or affection. 
**A women give the rein to their shameless excesses as 
as they can do so without danger." Now, prior to 1 808, 
the foreign slave trade terminated, black women had 
poured into the South by the thousand, creatures moti- 
vated by a procreative impulsemany of them not homely. 
When complacent daughters of Sheba came in contact 
with men equally amorous, the result was inevitable- intimacy 
and mulatto children. The practice was not confined to the 
vulgar but embraced all classes, from the eighteen-year-old 
schoolboy to a President of the United States, with a brood of 
colored children, and to a learned and honored judge of the 
highest court of Virginia, with his colored woman and her 
numerous offspring. 

Indeed, to speak plainly of a plain truth, a convenient col- 
woman in the old days was the vehicle for easing a 
human urge. Undoubtedly, the sex urge is stronger 
the tides of the ocean, stronger than the flow of the sap 
in the oak a human impulse upon which Freud predicates 
*H progress, all civilization, and the suppression of which may 
letcl to unhappiness, nervous disorders and the madhouse. 
An ibtesmtiog aspect of this; question is that a century ago 
with a negto woman was not considered adul- 



A 143 

had not 

mit adultery," he had no to the 

the not 

a was not a In the 

can a Thing, a Thing to be and to be 

and to obey. **The Negro has no soul," the 
of the of my youth. not of the 

alone. 
Learned men, and 

to the thought. and 

the African lower in the of "The 

Negro is not a human being, but is a beast," 
H. Payne, Payne's booklet in in 

1866, It is called The Negro. It 
one printing. The author reached his conclusion 
from the physical differences between and but 

also from the account in Genesis of the origin of the 
As Payne worked it out, Noah had three sons: Shcoi^ 
and Japhetk The descendants of these three, only, went 
Noah's ark as h0man beings, and were saved. All 
creatures aboard the ark were beasts. Now die African 
not a descendant of any one of Noah's children. It follows 
that the African must have been a beast! Absurd as this 
theory may sound It was the accepted belief of my younger 
days, among the poor whites of the South. 

Nor was this siUy notion confined to the ignorant. A 
learned scholar,, a Doctor Nott, formulated a theory that tie 
African and the Caucasian had a different origin. This theory 
Nott called the pluralistic origin of the races. It was opposed 
to the unitarian theory. The Doctor had an extensive fol- 
lowing. Calhoun was his disciple. Calhoun maintained that 
the Negro was an inferior being, incapable of receiving an 
education and not descended from the same stock as the 
white man. Upon this issue, Southern churches divided, some 



144 A WOMAN 

that the the of and others 

the 

1 a the contempt of 

the old for the free Negro. Just after the Negro was 

set a the store of bluff old 

at Windsor. The boy brought a message to 

Mr, a Bill White, 

"Boss," the boy "Mister White, he say f 

er pint*" 

"What's that?" the Irate merchant. 

"Mister White, he sont me to ax fur er ploiv p'int." 
"Mr. White, is it? Next thing, It will be Mr. Mule!" 

of such harmful conditions many forward-looking 

were apprehensive. Robert E. Lee called the 

of slavery a social and political evil, and liber- 

his Jefferson had already expressed the same 

Gaston, the scholar and statesman, in an address be- 

the University, had characterized slavery as a sore spot, 

corrupting the youth and undermining society. But, hurtful 

as slavery was to the whites. It was the making of the blacks. 

Nowhere In history may an Instance be found of a barbarous 

race making such progress as the American Negro during 

slavery days. 

In a word, bad as was sexual Intercourse, from the white 
man's point of view, It was wholly beneficial from the Ne- 
gro's. Such intercourse undoubtedly benefited the African, 
furnishing him witfi" capable leaders and giving him race 
pride. What today would be the condition of the American 
Negro had there been no mulatto leaders no Fred Douglass, 
no Bruce, no Booker Washington? Doubtless, the grand- 
mother of Booker Washington had been a savage In Africa. 
She may have left behind a brother or a sister with children. 

*Tfcif BttCfWtiag subject is discussed by Doctor Jenkins in*a recent work, 
trfr&mwry TtrongM m ibe Old So&tb 9 pubiisiied by the UniTemty of 
North Carolina Press. 



A 145 

the 

his left In and 

the will the of to the 

can Negro. No, did not the it 

the not the 

to the of a 

slave-woman, over Africa at 

She 

TTwas mercy brought me my 

Taught my benighted to 

That there's a God, that there's a Savior 

Before leaving this delicate subject, to 

an understanding of the relationship between 
blacks, let me add one thing more. be- 

tween the has almost ceased; it is rarely of in our 

day* The last census to register the number of 
that of 1920. Since then no figures showing the 
of mulattos to blacks are available. The 1920 shows 

though inaccurately a 25 per cent decrease in the 
of mulattos as compared with the former decade* The rea- 
son whites and blacks no longer mix is obvious. 

Southern white women have taken a hand and condemned 
the practice. The Negro is now regarded as a human 
He is in sharp competition with the whites and there is much 
conflict. The Negro is being educated and is therefore less 
amorous and has goiter race consciousness. His leaders 
teach morality and something of esthetics. He is scrupulous 
in observing social etiquette* "Good morning, sir/* is his 
cheerful greeting. In his churches, lodges and orders, he is a 
stickler for ritualism. He dresses better and is neater and 
more cleanly. His criminal record is much improved there 
are more whites than blacks in the North Carolina peni- 
tentiary. For these reasons, and others which might be men- 
tioned, sexual irregularities with whites are no longer con- 



146 A WOMAN 

by the Negro. If a in our day, should 

a he a social pariah. 

A the of 

as the races. Two or 

the in our state 

a and the fact came to the ears of 

his One the colored woman was in 

the of the two policemen knocked and 

They persisted, having been sent 

for the of in the act. At length, under 

to in, the opened, but no woman was in 

and the woman was hauled out 

the bed. Next morning's paper carried great 

and a two-column write-up. Before sunset the big 

had and never again able to hold up his 

head. 

Contrast this affair with a like occurrence in 1831 or 1852. 

In thorough-going day, no one would have dared pry 

a Southern gentleman's private affairs, or had he done so, 

he would have been promptly killed, and his assailant as 

promptly acquitted. 

But, even in slavery days, when whites and blacks were so 

intimate, the blood of the whites was never contaminated with 

of the blacks. The deadline between the races was so 

well marked that it could not be crossed. The offspring of a 

woman by a white man was a negro, always a negro. 

As to the rare case of the white woman who cohabited with 

a negro, she became an untouchable. She and her offspring 

were negroes and never associated with whites. In every 

Southern state today it is a crime for a white to marry a black. 

The claim of the South therefore that its Anglo-Saxon 

blood is pure and untainted may not be disputed. Now and 

tfam a bright mulatto may leave the South and go elsewhere 

ami for white and marry a white- But in the South this 

thing be impossible. The pedigree of the negro, to a 



A 147 

is of all **Once a 

a is the all 

the away. 
It I and 

to the for my of 

the to me. I 

too getting on in the to or 

or play the reformer. I If I 

in the of my or In the An 

to the 1 a 

of the a favorite of the 

was, "This is a white man's country." As a of 

fact, 1 had scarcely landed in my new 1 up 

to my middle in politics not for the public at all, but as 
a means of advertising myself and drawing The 

very year, 1 ran for mayor and was IE a 

I out for the legislature, but 
though I was elected Chairman of the Executive 
and put in line of promotion. 

So active was I that Father became alarmed. "Robert/* he 
wrote, "I observe that you are a candidate for every- 

thing these days. First, for mayor, then for the 
Now you are County Chairman. Unless you slow up and 
ripen a bit you cannot be a lawyer. You are in of 

running to weed/* 

But I was not too busy to neglect matters of a more tender 
nature. No sooner had the poErical campaign ended I 
was married, the bride a daughter of iny old school-teacher, 
and his wife,, Sophronia Moore, whose ancestry, through 
twenty generations of Moores of Fawley, raos btck to Sir 
Thomas More, of Utopia fame. The marriage took place 
in St. Stephen's church. The festivities were at the home of 
the bride. Nor was anything lacking to make the occasion 
intimate and Southern. Bridesmaids and groomsmen gath- 
ered from all parts of the state. Friends and kinsfolk filed 



14S A CONVENIENT WOMAN 

curious, folding 

and up down the 

My court in a neigh- 

to the to attend, the venerable 

ever lived saluting the 

a 

IE all the was a community affair. Every 

in fall roses, others lend- 

ing Hat and and many of the more intimate 

over and in furnishing forth the wedding 

The with native luxuries, fat turkeys, 

chicken salad, jellies, pickles and such cakes! 
One, the mysterious bride's cake, contained within its ample 
a gold ring, for which each attendant cut, the lucky 

as the very next to "step off." 

No spirits were visible, and yet, from the ensuing 

John Barleycorn and Apple Jack must have been 

in the neighborhood! At nine in the evening the 

bride and groom boarded a special train and departed for 

unknown. But, in the hurly-burly, they forgot the 

bride's handbag, with nighties and other paraphernalia. 

Whereupon, devilish Henry Cooper, a groomsman, and our 

future brother-in-law, opened the satchel, clothed himself in 

female attire, and paraded the length of the station, to the 

dismay of the more sober-minded of the party! Surely, in 

those plethoric times, a wedding was a wedding! 

Arriving in Washington City, we stopped at the Metropoli- 
tan, only a few blocks from the Capitol. This hotel was the 
home of our courtly Senator Ransom and other notables. 
The Senator put himself out to make our visit pleasant. We 
gained admittance to the White House and shook hands with 
Pfccodeot Arthur, a courteous, likeable gentleman, making a 
better president than had been expected. The street-cars, 
by horses, with tinkling bells on their bridles, we found 
aovdl Mid interesting. Each 'day we would ride about the 



A 149 

and the the art the 

The less 

a 
Ing the a 

day, as we the of the 

up. 
he '"Scarcely one of class." 

to the female in the he "Put 

days, and to 

but in fact typifying the 
out of heaven." 

As much as I hung around the and the 

Supreme Court, over which Chief Justice Wake 
The great leaders of the day attracted me. Through the 
courtesy of Senator Ransom and General Cox, our 

I met of them. Senator Butler, a of Ran- 

som's, I well remember, also Gorman, who 
Ransom in defeating the Force Bill, and Don Cameron, who 
co-operated in developing the falls of the Roanoke Wei- 
don. From the gallery of Congress I looked down 
many notables all now gone to their reward: 

Little Alex Stephens, once Vice-President of the Confed- 
eracy, huge David Davis, acting Vice-President of the United 
States; Benjamin Harrison and William McKkJey, after- 
wards presidents; John Sherman, Allan G* Thurman and 
Thomas A* Bayard, sometimes presented to party conven- 
tions for President; John A. Logan, soon to be defeated for 
Vice-President; Sam Randall, at one time Speaker of tie 
House, and strangely enough a protection Democrat. Also 
those intellectual giants Ben Hill,, L* Q, G Lamar,, Tom Reed, 
Morgan, Edmunds, Carlisle, Garland, and lastly that diminu- 
tive, fighting Confederate general, William Mahone, hero of 
the Battle of the Crater, now leading the Republicans of Vir- 
ginia and bringing much hostile criticism. 
A great case was before the Supreme Court and Roscoe 



ISO A CONVENIENT NEGRO WOMAN 

Colliding was the attorney for the losing party. The ques- 
tion at issue was this, "Is a corporation a citizen, within the 
Fourteenth Amendment, and is it protected by the provisions 
thereof? 57 In a former case the Court had intimated its opin- 
ion in the negative. But, after Conlding's presentation of the 
matter, the Court reversed itself and held that corporations 
are protected by the amendment undoubtedly one of the far- 
reaching decisions of our Supreme Court. As I sat in the 
courtroom and heard the proud, arrogant, self-sufficient 
ConHing, I could but recall the Philippic of Elaine, depicting 
Hyperian curls and a turkey-gobbler strut, sarcasm which 
not only enraged Conkling and disrupted the Republican 
party, but defeated Elaine and put Grover Cleveland in the 
White House. jf 

After ten days at the capital, our happy weddiiw trip came 
to an end and, one damp afternoon in Decenibp; I was en- 
gaging a state-room for Norfolk when I met ai/Old Salt on 
his way to Virginia. He advised me to stay off the foggy, 
river-route and go down the Bay from Baltimore. But I per- 
sisted and paid the penalty. About three o'clock the next 
morning, the weather being raw and muggy, our boat ran 
ashore. Fast in the mud we stuck. Nor were we pulled out 
by a friendly steamer until it was so late that we failed to 
reach Windsor for our Christmas turkey. But, late in the 
afternoon of Christmas day, we arrived at Edenton, the home 
of two of our wedding attendants. As soon as they learned 
we were in town they took us, bag and baggage, over to 
Hayes, their home. 

Hayes is one of the historic spots of the South. It was 
once the home of the Johnstons, Federalists, and friends of 
General Washington. On its walls there are paintings of 
real merit. The library is among the best private collections 
in the state. The residence is situated amidst semitropical 
shrubs and plants and flowers. It overlooks Edenton Bay, 
one of the loveliest sheets of water on earth. James Iredell, 



A CONVENIENT NEGRO WOMAN 151 

a Justice of the Supreme Court, once lived at Hayes- The 
place was likewise a harbor of refuge for Justice Wilson of 
Pennsylvania who fled his native state to escape jail on ac- 
count of debt, and was sheltered by his associate, James Ire- 
dell. Wilson died at Hayes and his body lay there for nearly 
a hundred years. At that time Pennsylvania asked permission 
to remove his ashes. The request was granted and the body 
now rests in Pennsylvania soil. 

The new year found us back in Oxford, with a heart for 
any fate. Before marriage, I had built a comfortable little 
home on a lot situated just across the street from the school 
and in close proximity to its kitchen. This circumstance gave 
old man John Jones, the philosopher of the town, a chance 
to commend my prudence. He likened me to the clerk in a 
store who received not only wages but "the run of the 
drawer!" 

And, of a truth, I was rather wise! Sue, the coal-black 
school cook, had been a slave in the Moore family and was a 
great provider. Whenever a beef was butchered or a hog 
killed, she would be sure to slip the choicest cut over into our 
pantry! Sue once had a husband, who had disappeared years 
before. But, husband or no husband, children came with the 
passing years eight of them, Moses and Aaron and General 
Schofield and the rest. 

Sue's Rilly was our first cook. She washed and ironed and 
cleaned up the house, and milked the cow and fed the pig 
and looked after the chickens! And all this for three dollars 
a month! 

Rilly's waffles and fried chicken were famous and her 
beaten-biscuit won many a prize. Her skill in seasoning food 
was unsurpassed. But she was lacking in tidiness. One day 
Mrs. Winston, going into the kitchen, discovered things in 
great disorder. "Why, Rilly," said she, "this kitchen is sim- 
ply a disgrace." "Now, Missis," Rilly brightened, "I knows 



1S2 A CONVENIENT NEGRO WOMAN 

why dis here kitchens so dirty, I hain't scoured dis kitchen 
in a month! " 

And Rilly's excuse was typical. The Negro, like Brer 
Rabbit, had had many a narrow escape by a quick wit and a 
bit of fabrication. "Sam, you rascal!" a master once said to 
his gracious, light-fingered butler, who had cut off and ap- 
propriated the leg of a fat, well-cooked goose, and turned the 
dismembered side down to escape observation, "Sam, your 
villainy is becoming unbearable! Where is that goose's leg?" 
"Why, Massa," exclaimed the innocent Sam, "dat air was er 
one-legged goose." "A one-legged goose! You monstrous 
liar, who ever heard tell of a goose with one leg?" "Now, 
Massa, you come along wid ole Sam an' he'll sho* you." 

Soon the two reached the fish pond, and sure enough there 
were the geese comfortably gathered on a tussock in the sun- 
shine, and every one of them standing on one leg. "See dat, 
Massa!" grinned Sam. "Shoo!" screamed the master, waving 
his hands at the flock, which flew away, each one exhibiting 
a good pair of legs. "But, Massa," said the irrepressible Sam, 
"you didn't say 'shoo' to dat goosie on de table! " 



CHAPTER XIII 
PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY 

SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE used to advise his law stu- 
dents to represent their constituencies, once at least, in Parlia- 
ment. This advice I determined to follow. Not to put 
across any reforms, since reforming was not in my line, nor 
to improve social and economic conditions, but as a means of 
advertising and bringing in business. And the opportunity 
presented itself in 1884, the year Cleveland ran for President 
and Zeb Vance was up for the United States Senate. 

About the middle of July the Republicans of Granville 
had met and put out a ticket altogether white, except two 
negroes for the House. The leaders of this mixed aggrega- 
tion were unusual characters, ex-Sheriff Moore for the Senate, 
and Charles P. Hester for Register of Deeds. Soon after- 
wards we Democrats convened and I was nominated in op- 
position to Moore. Our convention was large and enthusi- 
astic. But the honor conferred upon me seemed an empty 
one, since the county had not gone Democratic in twenty- 
five years and the Republicans had often piled up a majority 
of two thousand. 

But we were not dismayed. We had a. strong ticket and 
were out for a fight to the finish. For the lower House my 
associates were Captain Baldy Williams, a smooth, skillful 
politician, and Doctor Bob Hobgood, a country physician. 
Our other candidates were old man Bob Garner, one of the 
boys though nigh on to sixty, for Sheriff ; William Mitchell, 
a pious Methodist, for Treasurer; and Tom Washington, a 
young fellow full of the milk of human kindness, for Register 
of Deeds. 

153 



154 PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY 

Now it will be remembered that about the year 1876-77, 
when troops were withdrawn from the South, the Negro was 
generally eliminated from politics. But, even after that mo- 
mentous year, negroes, when led by bold, native whites, 
controlled and carried the elections. As to this year, I may 
say, it was pivotal. A disputed presidential election almost 
precipitated civil war. When Congress met it was unable to 
decide whether Hayes, the Republican, or Tilden, the Demo- 
crat, had been elected. It therefore referred the dispute to 
an Electoral Commission composed of five senators, five con- 
gressmen, and five judges of the Supreme Court. One point 
presented was whether the returns from three Southern states, 
Florida, South Carolina, and Louisiana, should be accepted 
without investigation, or whether the Commission should go 
behind the returns. On the face of the record Tilden had 
defeated Hayes, but certain shrewd Republican politicians 
suggested a contest based on fraud. 

The Commission heard evidence and decided, by a vote of 
eight to seven, to go behind the returns and seat Hayesa 
partisan result concurred in by the Republicans and disap- 
proved by the Democrats. Nor did the Democrats yield 
until the Republicans had conceded valuable ground. I once 
heard the brilliant Watterson tell of the agreement whereby 
the result was brought about. With perfect frankness Marse 
Henri recited his part in the matter. 

Just before March 4, 1877, when Grant's term expired and 
the new President was to take his seat, Watterson and other 
Southern congressmen met with leading Republicans and 
entered into a gentleman's agreement, whereby Hayes might 
be seated provided troops were withdrawn from the South 
and the elections in Florida, South Carolina, and Louisiana 
conceded to the Democratic governors and other state offi- 
cers. From that day to this the agreement to permit the 
Southern states to manage their internal affairs has been 
scrupulously kept. 



PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY 155 

But, as we have seen, the withdrawal of troops from the 
South did not affect the Negro vote in counties like Gran- 
ville, where native whites had combined with negroes so that 
the black man filled many offices and sat in the jury box to 
pass upon property rights and the issues of life and death. In 
Granville there were negro commissioners, magistrates, dep- 
uty sheriffs, constables, and members of the general assembly. 
The chief of police of Oxford and several of the city fathers 
were also negroes. 

The reasons moving native whites to join the Republican 
party are interesting. I will speak of three of these groups. 
The first consisted of unreconstructed secession Democrats, 
disgusted that their brave old party had given up the fight, 
run up the white flag and was calling itself the Conservative 
party. The second group was composed of old line Union 
Whigs, usually men of good family, who had always de- 
spised the word Democrat and everything connected there- 
with. Lastly, there were the poorer classes, opposing caste 
and privilege, who considered the Democratic party the rich 
man's party, and looked upon the late war with aversion. 
"The rich man's war but the poor man's fight," they insisted. 

A striking example of the first group the smallest of the 
threewas Colonel Hargrove. In this fiery old Rebel's vo- 
cabulary there was no such word as compromise. A blue- 
blooded, Virginia aristocrat, a brave Confederate colonel, one 
of the fiercest and wildest speakers I ever heard, TazeweU 
Lee Hargrove had been a states' rights Democrat, and when 
war broke out resigned from the legislature, organized a regi- 
ment and led it in battle. At South Anna Bridge, with eighty 
odd men, he withstood twelve hundred of the foe, finally 
seizing a musket and fighting, hand to hand, till he was 
knocked senseless and taken prisoner and sent to Johnson's 
Island. In prison the unrelenting man was known as the 
"Cussing Confederate Colonel." Never would he wear 
Yankee clothes nor accept Yankee favors. His old gray uni- 



156 PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY 

form hong on him till it was threadbare. After the surrender 
the undaunted Rebel refused to take the oath of allegiance 
and remained in prison till his aged parents went on and 
induced him to come out. 

Finally, the Colonel arrived at his father's plantation on 
the Roanoke. Soon a call was sent out for a convention of 
the Conservative Democratic party. The Colonel ventured 
to attend, his old slouched hat and gray uniform attracting 
attention. When the time for resolutions came, he rose and 
resolved that in the late war the North was wrong and the 
South right and there should be no retreat. The chairman of 
the meeting, once an old line Whig, raled the Colonel out of 
order. The House sustained the chair. Whereupon the 
Colonel seized his hat and strode from the hall, pausing at the 
door as he yelled, "You God-damned, lily-livered cowards, 
you won't hear me today but the time will come when you 
will!" 

In a short time this strange man had rounded up the ne- 
groes, become their idol, and become not only the leader of 
the Republican party but Attorney-General of the state. 
Many a time have I heard him, on the stump, addressing great 
crowds of negroes, abusing the cowardly Democrats, and in- 
dulging in the strangest kind of logic. "Who freed you nig- 
gers? Who but the damn Democrats. (Wha, wha, wha! ! ) 
The Democrats, they brought on the war and freed you nig- 
gers, and now they are trying to buy your votes. (An' dey 
can't do it! ) Damn 'em, take their money and go to the polls 
and vote the Republican ticket, from U. S. Grant to Bill 
Crews, township constable. (Wha, wha, wha! We'll do it, 
Colonel! Hurrah for Harg!)" 

On one occasion Hargrove was haranguing the negroes 
and cussing the Democratic party, when Captain Williams, a 
leading Democrat, rose and shouted, "It's an evil bird, Colo- 
nel Hargrove, that befouls its own nest." "Yes, damn you," 
retorted the speaker, rushing down to meet his adversary, "I 



PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY 157 

was once a Democrat, and as damned a fool as you are now." 
In the general mix-up the Captain might have come off badly 
but for Tom Lewis, the burly negro scrapper and once a 
slave of the Williams family. Such a fight as Tom put up is 
still remembered, though sixty years have come and gone. 1 

The second group to join the Republican party may be 
illustrated by James I. Moore, my opponent for the Senate. 
The Sheriff, having been a Union Whig before the war, had 
joined the Republicans as a rebuke to secession. Impetuous 
and dramatic, Moorp was one of the most moving stumpers I 
ever heard he could set a negro mob afire. Nor did he stop 
at anything to carry his point. His assumptions and accusa- 
tions beggar description. Boldly he would charge that Jeffer- 
son Davis had stolen millions of Confederate gold from the 
treasury in Richmond and gone off to England with Judah 
P. Benjamin, where the two had divided the swag! The 
Democratic party, according to Moore, had brought on the 
war and its attendant poverty, misery, and desolation. "The 
old, rickety, ramshackled affair is based on hate and section- 
alism it lives and fattens on abuse. (Ha! Ha! Ha! Give 
it to "em, Sheriff!) 

" 'Nigger, nigger, nigger 7 is its only cry. The nigger is 
the Democratic stalking-horse. Down in Hell and HelTs 
where the Democrats belong- (Give 'em Hell, Sheriff! Rub 
it in! Whoopee-e-e-e! ) Down in Hell you can tell a Demo- 
crat every time. There he sits holding some little skinny- 
headed negro between him and the fire. (Wha, wha, wha! 
Dat's the Gawd's truf. Man, ain't he burnin* de wind!) 
And now we are going to open the doors for mourners. The 
grand old Republican party is so broad it will admit even a 
Democrat, mean as he is, but he must repent and come up here 
to the mourners' bench. (Bless Gawd, he's callin' for mourn- 

1 1 have undertaken to depict this remarkable man, Colonel Hargrove, in 
an article, "A Rebel Colonel: His Strange Career:' South Atlantic, vol. 
XXX, p. 84; reproduced in Boston Evening Transcript. 



158 PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY 

ers! Call ? em up, Sheriff. Make 'em 'pent! Let's have a 
love feast!)" 

At this point the excitement was so great that the speaker 
suspended and indulged in the usual oratorical accessories. 
He turned around and shook hands with Hargrove, mopped 
his brow, threw back his long, flowing locks, waved his arms 
and returned to the attack. "Are we going to carry this elec- 
tion? You bet we are. We've got two thousand majority. 
And there ain't a straggler in our midst. We are marching 
to victory. All we need is straw to put the mourners on. 
Won't somebody go out and bring in some straw? Straw! 
straw!! thousands of souls lost for the want of straw!" 

On the stump the Sheriff's delight was ridicule of his op- 
ponent. "That little fellow, Winston," he would say, "why, 
he's just a sandfiddler, born away down on the Pasquotank, 
where the bullfrogs jump from bank to bank. Why, fellow 
citizens, he's eat so many fish the bones stick out of his back- 
it takes two men to pull off his shirt, before he can get in 
bed!" 

And there was a third class 4 of white Republican leaders, 
of which Charles P. Hester, candidate for Register of Deeds, 
was a sample. Charlie was a lovable young fellow, full of 
mother wit, and a great fun-maker, as his father before him 
had been. The idol of the poor whites, he was opposed to 
caste and gloried in the humble origin of the founders of the 
Republican party: Lincoln, a rail splitter; Grant, a tanner; 
Henry Wilson, a shoemaker. Charlie's voice was musical 
and his mouth stretched from ear to ear. His home was a 
few miles in the country, out Brassfield way, a stronghold of 
the old Unionists, a section which had never forgiven the 
secessionists for bringing on war. 

When Hester would remind the people of Brassfield of the 
days when conscription officers from other states had come in 
and carried off their boys, who had been killed in batde, 
while the rich maa kept out of the fight, remained at home, 



PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY 159 

bombproof because protected by the Twenty-Negro Law, 
the crowd would become livid with rage. On the stump, I 
once heard Charlie Hester tell of the burial of an eighteen- 
year-old boy, Billy McGee, a Union lad, conscripted, sent to 
the Virginia battlefields, and killed in one of the first engage- 
ments, leaving a brokenhearted parent. 

"Yes," shrieked the speaker, u and you know who I mean, 
you know that boy's old daddy. There he stands, right 
there, Uncle Zach McGee, nigh on to ninety years old now, 
and a better man never breathed. Yes, Uncle Zach, it was 
your boy, Billy, that was taken up and carried away and 
killed, and I've heard my old daddy say that when you were 
burying Billy, over there at Banks' chapel, a secession Demo- 
crat showed up and you got your gun and chased him away." 

It was up against such appeals we Democrats were put in 
the 1884 campaign. But we met the issues boldly. We 
stirred the passions of the whites and told of Radical corrup- 
tion and thievery. We asked the white man if he was going 
to give up his government to the black man. We recited the 
corruptions in county, in state and in nation: the County of 
Granville, bankrupt, its script selling for twenty cents on the 
dollar; the legislature of the state issuing hundreds of thou- 
sands of fraudulent bonds for roads and schools, and not a 
rail laid, not a nail driven. National affairs, as bad: Belknap, 
Grant's Secretary of War, indicted for fraud and resigning 
under fire; Babcock, Grant's private secretary, mixed up in 
the whiskey frauds; star-routes fraudulently put up for sale 
and the proceeds used as a political corruption fund; inde- 
pendent newspapers, the Nation, the Springfield Republican, 
the Post, deserting the Republican party, refusing to support 
Elaine for President and organizing a liberal party; Charles 
Francis Adams, Lyman Trumbull, Charles Sumner, Carl 
Schurz, and other leading Republicans estranged because of 
Elaine's connection with the Mulligan letters and fraudulent 
railroad bonds. 



160 PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY 

But our efforts seemed to be futile. As the canvass pro- 
ceeded it was plain that we were going to lose. The com- 
bination of the bold native whites with the negroes was too 
much for us. Something must be done, and done quickly. 
We therefore set about to sow the seeds of discord in the 
ranks of our enemy and divide them a scheme which our 
leader, Captain Williams, put across by means of two influ- 
ential negroes, Tom Lewis and Banky Gee, the latter nine 
parts white, one of the city fathers, and a successful mer- 
chant. The Captain induced Tom and Banky to persuade 
the negroes that they had not been fairly treated in the divi- 
sion of offices. The county ticket had not a negro on it: the 
white Republicans had hogged the fat offices and given the 
husks to the negroes! 

This poison spread like wildfire. "A negro for Register 
of Deeds!" became the cry. Tom and Banky called a new 
Republican convention and put out a full ticket, among oth- 
ers, Walter Patillo, a sleek, oily, negro school-teacher, for 
Register of Deeds, and W. K. Jenkins Spotted Bull he was 
called, being a large, powerful, freckled-faced fellow who 
raised cattle for the home market for the Senate. Almost at 
once this bolting ticket took the stump, stirred up the negroes, 
and overslaughed the regulars. Patillo proved a drawing 
card. Undoubtedly, we had overplayed our hands and were 
bit by our own dog. 

Again we concluded something must be done. In great 
haste our executive committee came together and opened up 
negotiations with Hester and the regulars. That is, we sup- 
plied them with funds a device which worked like a charm. 
Again Hester's stock rose. He scattered money broadcast, 
engaged the Durham band, employed negro workers, and 
gave a free barbecue, with free whiskey and free roast pig. 

Having crossed and double-crossed the enemy, we virtuous 
Democrats resumed our canvass, with a clear conscience and 
good prospects! Our next speaking was out at Tally Ho, 



PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY 161 

and there was a large crowd, mostly from a doubt ful section 
called Bowling Mountain. Sheriff Bob Gamer dispensed the 
liquors, and no man refused a drink. My task was to excite 
passion, stir op the whites, and put on the rousements. And 
this I did to the best of my ability. I paid special attention to 
the negro candidate for Register of Deeds, Walter Patillo, 
whose privilege it would be to issue marriage licenses to white 
boys and girls. 

"Yes," I sneered, as I looked over the crowd, "I see some 
white boys, with a little fur on their upper lips. Before long 
now you will be wanting to get married, but will your Marse 
Walter Patillo let you? If you boys don't do to suit him, he 
may not grant you a license." 

At this point the crowd became as still as death; the noise 
of a falling leaf might have been heard. I resumed. "Last 
week, in Oak Grove Township, what did Patillo say? He said 
he would be the next Register of Deeds of Granville County, 
and proposed to inspect and pass on all marriage licenses. . . ." 

"It's a lie," shouted the red-headed, raw-boned, Republican 
candidate for township constable. "It's a lie." 

Pistols clicked. Rocks flew. Bedlam broke loose. At me 
the irate constable lunged. A blow on the head with a hick- 
ory felloe stopped him. It was struck by Cicero Goss, the 
cross-roads blacksmith, and my devoted friend. After much 
difficulty, order was restored, but there was no more speak- 
ing that day. Excitement ran too high. The meeting stood 
adjourned. But the devilment had been done, the issue had 
been drawn; whites against blacks. 

Now, this Tally Ho meeting solidified the whites and drew 
them into the Democratic party, but it also solidified the 
blacks and drove them together a disaster for the Demo- 
crats, there being more negroes than whites. In a word, I 
had over-spoken myself, my Tally Ho tirade had killed 
Hester and the regular Republican ticket. In this dilemma 



162 PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY 

Hester, angry and humiliated, sought out the chairman of 
our executive committee. He must have more money. 

"I have come clean with you folks," he said. "But it will 
take a thousand dollars more to defeat the damn bolters and 
the niggers." 

"But, Charlie," complained Captain Williams, "we've let 
you have all the money you said you needed. . . ." 

"I know it, Captain, but things have changed and . . ." 

"See here, Hester, we haven't any more money for you." 

"All right, gentlemen, then I go across and ring the court- 
house bell and call up the crowd and give the whole damn 
thing away." And out he stalked, crying-mad. 

"Come back, come back, Charlie. How much did you say 
you needed?" 

"One thousand dollars, gentlemen. I need that sum to pay 
workers and give a final barbecue, at Brassfield, and hire the 
Durham band." 

"Well, here's your money." 

Hester's barbecue was a winner. His brass band drew the 
negroes in great numbers, and his success seemed assured. 

How raw and crude all this sounds! Was there any earthly 
excuse for our conduct? Were we justified in buying up 
our opponents and in crossing and double-crossing them? 
The answer is this, "Put yourself in the place of the Southern 
whites of that day. What would you have done, in these 
circumstances?" Though we may agree that the South had 
been wrong in seceding, we must admit that the North was 
wrong in its reconstruction policy. Nothing can justify giv- 
ing the ballot to a million credulous, ignorant, penniless, and 
overwrought negro slavesmere children, less than grown- 
ups. Nothing can justify the disfranchising of thousands of 
leading, patriotic, Southern whites. 

In the county of Granville there were more black votes 
than whites. Nor was there any restriction upon the voting 
of negroes. Negroes above twenty-^one, and many below 



PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY 163 

that age, as no record of birth had been kept, were electors. 
Regardless of bad morals, or Ignorance, or worthlessness, the 
Negro race, In a moment, had become citizens of the Repub- 
lic and peers of their late masters. Little wonder many 
black counties became bankrupt. 

In GranviMe the five commissioners two negroes and three 
disreputable whites had so badly managed affairs that the 
county script was worthless. But little did these men care. 
Though the Board was put in jail for fraud and corruption* 
it continued to function. In the jail they sat and voted away 
the people's money. Fraudulent and corrupt script was 
placed in a split stick, and passed through the windows to 
note-shavers on the outside. These orders became known as 
the split-stick script. 

The election took place on Tuesday, November 4th, and 
the result seemed to be in the gravest doubt. Would the 
Republican split continue? Night and day I was busy, trav- 
eling over the county with my friend Tom Washington, 
whose acquaintance seemed without limit. I soon learned 
that old Mr. Tom Lyon and his boys were mad at me because 
I had appeared for a negro and acquitted him of stealing their 
tobacco. I, therefore, spent one night with the Lyons. Their 
simple, wholesome, country home was most refreshing, and 
by means of courteous attention to the women of the f amily 
and predictions of good times and thirty-cent tobacco, as 
soon as Cleveland was elected, and many funny stories I told 
of their neighbors, Ruf e and Sid Bobbitt, my schoolmates at 
Chapel Hill, I succeeded in wiping out bad feeling and re- 
covering lost ground. 

The night before the election, I spent at the home of 
Charles Hester and his brother Kit. And though I may, 
some day, forget my own name I shall never forget that 
night. The Hester home is on the banks of the Tar River 
and in a dense forest. As darkness began to fall negroes, in 
droves, gathered around the dwelling and in the grove. They 



164 PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY 

built a blazing fire. A dozen fox hounds yelped and barked. 
Whiskey flowed like water. The woods echoed and re- 
echoed with song and laughter. 

About midnight the negroes threw themselves down on the 
naked ground, with their feet to the fire, and snatched a few 
hours of sleep. About four o'clock the plantation was astir. 
Pretty soon we whites, four of us, the two Hester boys and 
their sedate, tranquil mother and I sat down to the table and 
gulped hot coffee and bolted hot biscuits, soaked in sop. 
Scores of negroes infested the kitchen and the yard, eating, 
drinking, singing, and laughing. 

Long before daylight, Hester and I, seated in the same 
buggy, were on our way to the polls. Presently day began 
to break, and I crawled out of Hester's buggy and into my 
own. And then we reached Brassfield, the voting place. The 
sun rose, clear and fair. The polls were open. All day long 
I was busy working with the voters. As an elector came up 
to deposit his ballot I solicited him. But my efforts were 
vain. I could not change a single vote. Hester's ticket swept 
the field. At two o'clock, alone and dispirited, I set out for 
homewith thoughts of the uncertainty of life and hopes of 
representing my constituency in Parliament blasted. But, off 
against Hobgood and Tippett's mill, I espied, coming down 
the road, W. K. Jenkins, one of my opponents. I hailed him. 

"Hello, Senator," I said. "How did the election go in Wal- 
nut Grove and Oak Hill and Sassafras Fork?" 

"Go!" he laughed. "There wasn't any election." 

"Why, didn't you and Patillo get any votes?" 

"I'll say we did, we got 'em all." 

And off he trotted, with a hearty laugh, leaving me feeling 
better. If Patillo and Jenkins had carried half the county and 
Hester and Moore the other half, surely my chances were not 
so bad. Surely I could carry the county against two oppo- 
nents. And so it resulted. 

The election was mine not only by a plurality, but by a 



PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY 165 

majority. At twenty-four years of age, too young by twelve 
months, according to the law, to represent the county, I was 
the senator from the Twenty-first District. 

Nor was I in the least repentant for the manner of my 
election. Not a sigh did I heave. Not a tear did I shed. If 
the truth must be told I gloried in my unexpected victory. 
I had accomplished the well-nigh impossible. Moreover, we 
in Granville had been much more honest in our methods than 
our brethren down East. In that section it had been neces- 
sary to resort not only to fraud but violence. 

It was many years before I realized the evil of such con- 
duct. I was but a part of the civilization into which I had 
been born. It seemed all right that we should hold the Negro 
in the South and make it a crime to carry him outside the 
state and yet deprive him of the ballot. The slogan of the 
day was, "The Negro for the white man and the white man 
for the Negro, provided the white man rule the roost!" 

But these conditions were not satisfactory to others. My 
three brothers had kicked out of the Democratic harness, and 
were co-operating with the Liberals. In 1882, when Brother 
Pat moved from Bertie to the city of Winston, up in the 
foothills, he severed his connection with the Democrats and 
became a liberal Republican. Soon afterwards he made a 
speech, in the National Convention at Chicago, seconding the 
nomination of Arthur for President. Brother's letter of with- 
drawal from the Democratic party had been written by Pro- 
fessor Winston, at the University. It was a statement of the 
constructive principles of the old Whig party. 

Moreover, other influential families were dissatisfied. They 
were advocating more industry and less agriculture, more 
business and less sectionalism. The Dockerys, of Richmond, 
the Moreheads and Dicks of Guilford, the Buxtons of Cum- 
berland, the Dukes of Durham, and many others, were con- 
cluding that the whites could control the negroes through a 
liberal Republican party. Early in the year 1 884 such a party 



166 PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY 

had met in convention and adopted a platform based on the 
teachings of Henry Clay* It advocated home industries, 
urged a coherent, unified nation and the abolition of sectional 
discord. It called for the enactment of the Blair Bill, which 
provided funds from the national treasury to educate all the 
people. 

Many of my kinsmen, including two of my brothers, at- 
tended this convention. Brother Patrick was one of the chief 
speakers. My cousin, Alex Peace, took a hand. Isaac J. 
Young, another kinsman and a master of mob eloquence, was 
the dominating factor. Still another relative, Colonel John 
R. Winston, participated and soon became the Liberal candi- 
date for Congress. 

The Colonel had an enviable war record. After leading his 
regiment in many battles, he was taken prisoner and sent to 
Johnson's Island, a fortress so strong, so impregnable, that the 
American Encyclopedia declares no prisoner has ever been 
known to make his escape. In this, however, the Encyclo- 
pedia is mistaken. On the night of December 31, 1863, with 
the thermometer at zero and the lake frozen, Colonel Win- 
ston and a few of his fellow prisoners made their escape on 
the ice. The Colonel then rejoined his regiment, did valiant 
service in the Wilderness and sheathed his sword at Appomat- 

t03C 

This liberal convention, though handicapped by offensive 
negro delegates, nominated a strong ticket. For Governor, 
Dr. Tyre York, a rough, honest mountaineer. For Treasurer, 
Washington Duke, founder of the great Duke family. For 
Superintendent of Public Instruction, F. D. Winston of 
Bertie. An amusing incident occurred when Brother Pat re- 
turned to his home at Winston and was met by his friend, 
Cam Buxton, with his carriage and span of fine horses. 

"Hello, Pat," said Buxton, as die two grasped hands. 
<r Wfeat about that convention?" 

"Buxton," was the reply, "you know, I left the Democratic 



PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY 167 

party because of Blank, a damned old thief. Weil, you just 
ought to see what a hell of a crowd Fve got into this time!" 

The year 1884 was a Democratic year, Cleveland was 
elected President; Vance, assured of the IL S. Senate; Gen- 
eral Scales, a hero of Gettysburg, elected Governor; and I 
chosen to the state Senate! 

And soon a commission came to the Senator-elect notify- 
ing him he was to go down to Raleigh and canvass the vote 
of the state and prepare the election returns and certify the 
result to Congress. In obedience to this commission I went 
to Raleigh and received the warmest of welcomes. The 
Brigadiers gave me the glad hand. The occasion indeed was 
memorable. For the first time in twenty-five lean, lagging 
years we Democrats were in power, and at the pie counter! 
We met in the Senate chamber, whose anterooms were 
stocked with mint juleps and rock-and-rye, by that prince of 
entertainers, General Bill Roberts, the youngest brigadier in 
Lee's army. At night the nominating ceremonies took place, 
Colonel Saunders, Secretary of State, presiding. Captain 
Coke's deep, melodious voice boomed. Gas lights shone. 
Beautiful women looked down from the galleries and gave a 
touch of color to an already colorful scene. My little barque 
had cast its moorings and was headed for wider waters. 

And yet my triumphs were not without a touch of sadness. 
During the bitter political campaign my impulsive and 
generous-hearted brother, Frank, had been under fire and 
badly misquoted. In one of his speeches he had declared that 
the fear of Negro domination was a scarecrow a ruse, a 
political trick to frighten the whites. 

"Surely," he had said, "two million whites, with all the 
wealth, all the soldiers, and all the guns, can withstand one 
million poverty-stricken, defenseless negroes, and if not they 
deserve defeat." This language was twisted and distorted 
and Brother was made to say he favored Negro supremacy. 
An attack of this kind wounded my family pride. And when 



168 PISTOLS CLICK AND ROCKS FLY 

a raw cartoon was published, I took It into the Cooper bank 
and exhibited it. The picture represented Brother, seated in 
an open carriage by the side of a gaudily-dressed negro poli- 
tician, puffing a huge cigar. 

"Henry," said I to Cooper, my brother-in-law, "look at this 
thing. Why, it's a positive shame! " 

"Now, Bob," he laughed, "you sure are silly. Frank's the 
only Winston ever big enough to be cartooned, and here you 
are getting mad about it," 



CHAPTER XIV 
WALTER PAGE AMUSES THE BRIGADIERS 

MY experience as a legislator moves me to say that Black- 
stone was right: every young lawyer should represent his 
constituency, one time, in Parliament. By all odds the law- 
making department is more powerful than the executive or 
the judicial, the last two being ancillary and declaratory, the 
former, original and creative. In a republic like ours the 
voice of the people is the voice of God and the national Con- 
gress and state legislatures are that voice. Nothing gives the 
briefless young barrister more confidence in himself than to 
sit in legislative halls, snap his fingers and call a page, receive 
the homage of the great and powerful and enact laws for the 
guidance of his fellows. At least such was my case. 

Almost at once I jumped to the front, not because of what 
I had done but on account of my position. While in the 
Senate two important lawsuits were placed In my hands, 
yielding a greater fee than my entire salarybusiness which 
would have gone to more experienced lawyers but for the 
fact that I seemed to be the coming man. 

It resulted that, before my two-year term was over, I was 
greatly stimulated all fear of the future had vanished. As 
at college winning debating honors and capturing the Man- 
gum medal had given me courage and dispelled Civil War 
forebodings, so now being one of fifty senators, chosen in a 
spirited contest, to speak for two million freemen, overcame 
all youthful complexes. Not only was I a senator but a man 
among men. And orthodox to the core. 

Pretty soon the time came to select a state printer, with a 
rake-off of six or eight thousand dollars a job reserved for 

169 



170 WALTER PAGE AMUSES THE BRIGADIERS 

the newspaper called the party organ. For this fat place two 
contestants came forward: Major Hale, a Brigadier of the 
Brigadiers, editor of the Observer, an out-and-out party 
organ, and Walter Page, an extreme liberal, editor of the 
Chronicle, a new-fangled sheet, always poking its nose into 
other folk's business, finding fault with the existing order, 
ridiculing the rule of the Brigadier and dubbing our new 
Governor a Do-Nothing and a mummy a Thothmes, in fact, 
two thousand years old. "You go up to the Old Thing and 
say, *Look here, old fellow, this is not the year 2000 B.C. but 
the year 2000 A.D.' The Old Thing stares vacantly at you 
and grins and goes its way!" 

Why such an insurgent newspaper as the Chronicle should 
have aspired to become the organ of the Brigadiers and the 
mouthpiece of the mossbacks remains a puzzle. When the 
Democratic caucus met I lined up with the Brigadiers in favor 
of Hale. Had I voted for Walter Page he might have been 
content to pocket the rake-off and edit the Chronicle, never 
becoming Ambassador to England. On this record I submit 
that I am entitled to the credit of having sent Page to the 
Court of Saint James'. 

There is an interesting circumstance connected with this 
printing contract: Page and Josephus Daniels were co-oper- 
ating in securing it. The aspiring and impecunious young 
editor Page and the equally aspiring and impecunious editor 
Daniels were hand in glove, opposing the existing order. 
Page, having lost out in the contest, disposed of his paper to 
his friend Josephus and moved West. 

From this circumstance it has been concluded that Page 
was run out of his native state, and it is often said he applied 
for the chair of Greek at our University and was turned 
down. This is a mistake. I once asked Brother George, at 
that time professor at Chapel Hill, and keeper of the records, 
if Page had ever applied for the Greek professorship. He 



WALTER PAGE AMUSES BRIGADIERS 171 

replied in the negative, adding that the position would 
been his for the asking. 

The truth is we Brigadiers did not concern ourselves about 
Page. His new-fangled notions of social and political reform 
amused us. We rather laughed at than feared the young 
fellow. As for myself, I considered Page a dreamer, possibly 
a smart Aleck, exploiting himself, unable to win in a fair fight 
with equals and stirring up the rabble against their betters! 

But it must be said that so long as Page's paper managed to 
keep head above water, it made a great splutter in the duck 
pond. The Chronicle presented both sides, it played no fa- 
vorites. Prince and peasant, Tyrian and Trojan, looked alike 
to Page. News was news he suppressed nothing. Ridiculous 
sermons, absurd debates in the legislature, idle gossip on street 
corners, scandals in high life, amusing court scenes, outworn 
law from the bench, together with movements to improve 
agriculture and found agricultural schools and colleges, let- 
ters on any and all subjects, from people high and low this 
hodge-podge made up Page's Chronicle. 

A measure to pension Confederate soldiers came before 
our legislature and, though Page was not interested in this 
matter, he was impartial and filled columns with the exciting 
debates. When the bill came up in the house, the Chronicle's 
report was so realistic as to be a departure, the young re- 
porter assigned to the task being a crack staff correspondent 
and the husband of Julia, only child of Stonewall Jackson. 
The champion of the bill was a remarkable chap, scarcely 
twenty-one, a representative from Cleveland County, alter- 
nately preacher, actor, and dramatist Thomas Dixon, soon 
to be lauded or derided as the author of The Leopard's Spots, 
The Clansman, and The Birth of a Nation. 

On the night Dixon addressed the House not only were the 
lower floors filled, but the gallery. Expectation was at the 
highest. Nor were the most sanguine disappointed. The 
perfervid speaker began in a slow, quiet manner, describing 



172 WALTER PAGE AMUSES THE BRIGADIERS 

the sacrifices of the Confederate women, and the valor and 
heroism of North Carolina troops on every battlefield from 
Big Bethel to Appornattox Court House always and every- 
where the first to get there, the last to quit, and the farthest 
to the front, 

He then depicted the suffering, the agony, the misery of 
the wounded and dying as surgeons, with keen knives and 
jagged saws, moved among them, cutting off mangled arms, 
sawing off shattered legs, and sewing up gaping wounds. 
Nor did the consummate actor fail to re-create the scene it- 
self. With one foot on an imaginary bench, as if engaged in 
the act of sawing, and with arms moving up and down, he 
crashed the saw through the quivering flesh, as he imitated 
the cracking of the bones and the tearing of the flesh, with 
his raucous voice and gritting teeth. 

"Great God!" he shrieked, his voice now sharp and pierc- 
ing, now deep and soul-stirring, his long arms waving, his 
dark locks tossed to and fro, his keen, black eyes sparkling, 
his tall, bony frame quivering, his somber, Cassius-like coun- 
tenance aglow, "Great God! Who can contemplate such a 
scene without a moisture of the eye, a throbbing of the heart! 
Give these brave boys money? Yes, give them every cent 
youVe got, spare not a copper! And if there be any here 
today so hard of heart, so lost to all sense of patriotism, and 
manhood, and decency as to vote against this bill, may he be 
anathema, as to such a creature may the moldering arms and 
the withered fingers of those mutilated heroes rise from the 
dust and tear his eyeballs from their very sockets!" 

It did not require Tom Dixon's overwrought oratory, how- 
ever, to get my vote for the Confederate pension bill. My 
admiration for the boys who wore the gray could not have 
been increased nothing, in my judgment, was too good for 
them. 

Yet in most matters I was accounted a watch-dog of the 
treasury. Many a bill to waste die people's money did I help 



WALTER PAGE AMUSES THE BRIGADIERS 173 

to scotch. Among others a raid on the treasury to beautify 
and adorn the Senate Chamber. This useless expenditure a 
score of us killed by a stout filibuster. But in the matter of 
defeating a donation to the Southern Railroad we were less 
successful. This measure carried a gift of a large amount to 
the road to enable it to extend its line from Ashevile to 
Murphy, near the Tennessee line. In opposition to the bill I 
stood, with many of the ablest senators, men who afterwards 
rose to high place. One of these was Henry G. Connor, HI 
my opinion the wisest and broadest-minded statesman in our 
midst. 

Almost at once Connor and I had been drawn to each other 
and sealed a friendship which grew with time. For forty 
years this modest, heroic man refreshed my life. If we were 
in the same town we saw each other daily. If in different 
towns, we kept in touch through the mails. Connor never 
swam with the tide, was never a time-server. With Mans- 
field he could say, "I wish popularity, but that which seeks 
me, not which I seek." Though he placed principle above 
expediency, he rose step by step from the legislature to the 
circuit bench, thence to the supreme bench and finally to a 
United States judgeship, by appointment of a political oppo- 
nent, President Taft. 

How different in characteristics was Connor from his 
friend and mine, Josephus Daniels, whose attorney I after- 
wards became. Of all the men I have ever known Daniels 
was the most cock-sure. He never doubted, never hesitated. 
He did not pause to think, he acted. He had no yesterdays. 
In the language of A. G. Gardiner he was "a horse in blink- 
ers." He saw neither to the right hand nor to the left, only 
to the goal ahead, and to that he flashed like an arrow to the 
mark. But always, and under all circumstances, a partisan 
Democrat, basing his calculations on the foibles and follies of 
men. Soon he ceased to be an out and became a regular, his 



174 WALTER PAGE AMUSES THE BRIGADIERS 

paper the party organ the Old Reliable, the Democratic 
Bible, read and worshiped by thousands. 

Another interesting character was Judge Walter Clark, 
whose diversion was holding court, but whose occupation 
was dabbling in politics. At eighteen he had been a Con- 
federate colonel, and, though sprung from aristocratic an- 
cestors, was a socialist. So lawless was he that when a writ 
of error was presented to the U. S. Supreme Court, White, 
Chief Justice, signed without reading it. The case below was 
a damage suit against a railroad, and Clark had written the 
opinion! 

Though Daniels and Clark were radicals, and belonged to 
the same school of thought, they could never be intimate 
they were too much alike. Each posing as the champion of 
the people, each casting an anchor to windward and each 
consumed by ambition. And yet they had points of differ- 
ence, Daniels was eager to be considered law-abiding- 
Clark eager to be considered law-breaking. Daniels, Jeffer- 
sonian Clark, Napoleonic. Though Daniels might have 
looked upon the Constitution as a buffer, organized by the 
Fathers to shield them in ill-gotten gains, he would never 
have given expression to this thought. Clark was proud to 
do so. In private conversation Daniels might speak of the 
Federalists Washington, Adams, and Marshall as peculators, 
masquerading as patriots, but really exploiting the govern- 
ment for selfish ends. This sentiment Clark blazoned from 
the housetop, berating Marshall for usurping power when 
he declared an act of Congress unconstitutional. 

Walter Clark was the North Carolina puzzle, a man with- 
out emotion and without friendship. His very laughter was 
cold and calculated. The lawyers practicing before him 
said his nod, from the bench, meant sure defeat! Just here 
I will run ahead a bit and say that, in the 1912 Wilson elec- 
tion, dark requested me to manage his campaign for the 
Senate, against F* M. Simmons, and one day I asked him to 




WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN 



JULIAN S. CARR 




JOSEPHUS DANIELS WALTER CLARK 

POLITICAL PROPHETS 



WALTER PAGE AMUSES THE BRIGADIERS 175 

give me the names of Ms friends and supporters. I to 

organize them. "Why, I have no friends," he replied. 
"Friends are expensive. I expect to be swept into the Senate 
on the same wave that puts Wilson in the White House." 

Again, at a State Convention, Clark selected me to nomi- 
nate him for chief justice. This I did, and he was subse- 
quently elected. Still again, when Clark sought a place on 
the Supreme Court at Washington, he asked me to be hk 
manager. In a word, I thought Clark and I were the best of 
friends. And yet he often acted as if we were strangers and 
enemies a course of conduct which he adopted towards 
everyone, when it served his ambitious purpose and made Mm 
an Abject of fear. 

I recall an instance of this trait. An appeal, immediately 
before my case, was under argument, and I stepped out of 
the courtroom, for a moment, to get a book Black on Judg- 
mentsnor was I absent half a minute. But, unfortunately* 
the attorney addressing the Court closed his argument just as 
I re-entered the room. The Chief Justice saw me, but did 
not wait a second. He called up my case, marked it "Sub- 
mitted under printed brief," and passed on. Though I in- 
sisted on my right to speak and undertook to explain the cir- 
cumstances, the Chief Justice ruled me out of order and sum- 
marily sat me down. Whereupon the four associates were 
so much outraged that two of them expressed indignation* 
privately, and the others wrote notes from the bench. "It's 
a damned shame," Judge Brown's terse note read. "Move to 
reconsider, at the morning hour," Judge Allen wrote, "and 
we'll overrule the Chief Justice." At the morning hour my 
motion was refused. Judicial courtesy prevailed, and I was 
indignant, not on my client's account, since I had filed a 
printed brief, but because of the discourtesy. Now Clark's 
conduct in this matter is easy to understand. It was spec- 
tacular, it was Napoleonic, it would cause talk. He would 



176 WALTER PAGE AMUSES THE BRIGADIERS 

be considered a judge who dispatched business and was no 
respecter of persons. 

This incident is matched only by its sequel. A few days 
afterwards Father's portrait was to be presented to the Court, 
and I was under the necessity of seeing Clark and getting his 
permission. I approached his home and rang the doorbell 
From his window he saw me and came forward, seizing me 
by the hand and conducting me into his library. Effusively, 
he presented me to his daughter and her husband, who were 
on their first visit. "Daughter," said the Chief Justice, "I 
want you to meet Senator Winston, the very best friend I 
have in the world! " But rny story is running ahead of itself. 

No important business of a public nature came before the 
legislature, except the pension act and the railroad donation 
measure to which I have referred. The manner in which the 
latter was put through opened my eyes. The bill was with- 
held until late in the session, nor did I know anything about 
it until it was introduced. But I soon discovered. Behind 
the bill were powerful and divergent elements: a dozen rail- 
road lawyers, who had been elected for the purpose in 
hand; eight or ten negro legislators who fell into line in ex- 
change for favors shown their race by the aforesaid railroad 
attorneys; western members, Democrats and Republicans, 
whose section would be benefited by the road; eastern mem- 
bers, who had log-rolled and secured appropriations for their 
section. 

This bill was adopted amidst great excitement. There 
were charges and counter-charges of fraud and bribery, and 
one savage fisticuff. Doctor McAden, a lobbying advocate 
of the bill, attacked Richmond Pearson, the representative 
from Buncombe, with a smashing blow, breaking his nose. 
A dozen or more of us filed a protest, and asked that it be 
spread upon the record. Our motion was denied by Major 
Stedinan, President of the Senate, and afterwards a member 
of Congress the last Confederate to sit in that body. 



WALTER PAGE AMUSES THE BRIGADIERS 177 

With a copy of my precious protest In hand I sought my 
kinsman Colonel Fuller and asked his advice. The wise old 
lawyer gazed quizzically at me through his kindly eyes and 
said, "An excellent paper, Robert, most excellent. But, my 
son, no protest beats the best protest that was ever filed!" I 
have since grown to concur in this opinion of the Colonel's. 
Indeed, my friend Connor and I soon came to regret that we 
had voted against the measure, so greatly did it benefit the 
beautiful mountain section. So much for the enthusiasm and 
the wisdom of youth! 

Though few public acts of importance were passed, some 
local measures of the greatest value were enacted, notably 
those relating to the manner of working highways and keep- 
ing up livestock. Previously the highways had been worked 
by "hands," who had been warned-in to appear, on a given 
date, with shovel and pick. As to cattle, horses, and other 
livestock, they had been permitted to roam at large, while the 
crops had to be enclosed with fences, "horse-high, bull- 
strong and pig-tight." The father of the useful new legisla- 
tion was the Senator from Mecklenburg, Captain Alexander, 
President of the Grange, and perhaps the best posted and 
broadest minded farmer in our midst. As the Captain was a 
cousin of my brother-in-law, he seemed to take a fancy to 
me. In fact, he won me over to his views. Public roads 
should be worked with public funds, and livestock penned 
and not suffered to run at large. "Pen the pigs and turn out 
the crops," was Alexander's great idea. And, as to these two 
measures, I must say they became the cornerstone upon which 
the progress of North Carolina was laid. The road law not 
only relieved the poor man of an unfair burden, but gave us 
a system of hard-surface roads. The stock law improved the 
breed of cattle, saved the forests which formerly had gone 
into fences, and reduced the cost of cultivating fields. 

And yet my connection with these measures was acci- 
dental. I stumbled into them. But just as soon as I saw and 



178 WALTER PAGE AMUSES THE BRIGADIERS 

realized their necessity I became wholly engrossed. Rough- 
shod, I ran over my constituents. Not only did I not seek the 
endorsement of the fanners, I ran counter to their petitions. 
Now while this bold, ruthless legislation was fresh in the 
people's minds, and my conduct under discussion, an interest- 
ing episode occurred. 

I had been called into the country by Armistead Burwell 
to appear before a justice of the peace in an effort to open a 
cartway through the lands of Dick Sneed, and after the trial 
Burwell had delivered me at Soudan, a brand-new flag- 
station twenty miles from home, four miles from any local 
habitation, and without a station agent. Soon after Burwell 
left me the train came roaring along. Frantically I waved. 
On came the engine, and heedless of my signals, left me 
standing by the railroad track. It was a hot, August night 
that I spent on the floor of a deserted lumber camp, with a 
hickory log for a pillow. Next day, much bedraggled, I ar- 
rived in town and the news of my disaster spread. John 
Webb, the village wit, made up a good story. John swore 
I had walked from the station to the nearest farmhouse and 
knocked up the owner, Wilkins Stovall, at midnight. 

"Who is that?" said old man Wilkins, poking his head out 
of the window. 

"It's Winston." 

"What Winston?" 

"Senator Winston of Oxford." 

"The man that passed the stock law over our heads?" 

"That's right, sir. I'm the man." 

"Well, move on, there ain't any lodging for you in my 
house." 

This was not a bad story, but, like many another, was lack- 
ing in foundation. My fellow citizens soon respected me for 
courage and foresight and honored me far beyond my deserts. 
I myself gloried in my achievement and wrote out the epitaph 
to be inscribed on my tomb: 



WALTER PAGE AMUSES THE BRIGADIERS 179 

Here lies the author of the 
Mecklenburg Road Law 

and of the 

No-Fence Law 

who placed his people's welfare above their praise. 

The legislative term was sixty days and our pay four dol- 
lars a day. Sorely we were serving for glory and not money. 
During the session I witnessed some evidences of bribery t 
notably the furnishing of free passes and Pullman cars stocked 
with wine. There was also considerable log-rolling, and on 
one occasion 1 heard a suspicious conversation. 

"Baldy," said a high railroad official to my associate, "we 
simply must pass that bill." 

"But, Major, we can't get the votes." 
"Damn them! Buy them, like cattle on the hoof! " 
At this time the hospitality of Raleigh could not have been 
excelled every home was open to us. Nor did we lack en- 
tertainment. In Tucker Hall a stock company was playing 
to full houses. Joe Jefferson, master of the human heart, was 
seen in Rip Van Winkle, and many an old soak listened to 
this matchless impersonator with streaming tears* Carl 
Schurz, Democratic Senator from Missouri, and sympathetic 
with the South, though formerly a bitter radical, lectured on 
Henry Clay, making a wonderfully impressive speech. 

At that time, I thought well of this versatile, scholarly 
German exile. I considered him a statesman, though a mystic 
and a dreamer. But I soon discovered my error. Schurz was 
not a dependable man. In 1866 he had deceived the Presi- 
dent into the belief that he favored the humane policy of 
Lincoln towards the late Confederate States, and, on that 
account, had been requested by Johnson to investigate South- 
ern conditions"and make report. Though Schurz went South 
he consulted no witnesses except partisans, mostly Freedmen's 
Bureau officials. His one-sided report furnished Sumner and 



180 WALTER PAGE AMUSES THE BRIGADIERS 

other radicals a stick with which to crack our heads. Schurz's 
report, probably, kept the South out of the Union for two 
years, and was the basis of subsequent Reconstruction. 

One day, in the spring, the legislature completed its labors 
and adjourned. Even at that early season the grass had car- 
peted Capitol Square, jonquils and daffodils were out, the first 
wood-thrush had come up from Florida and was calling for 
a mate. And then my little family of three my wife, six 
months 7 old son and I spent a few days with the Grahams, in 
quaint, historic Hillsboro, a borough town, once a political 
and economic factor and the capital of the state, and still a 
center for schools and culture. 

And such a home the Grahams hadso well ordered, so 
refined, so hospitable! No ostentation, no striving after 
effect. Over the door a pineapple emblem of welcome. 
Yelping, wiggling pointers hugged you as you entered each 
with a pet name, Douschka and the rest. In the stables, 
Beauty and Ilderim saddle horses awaited your pleasure. 
Out on the lawn was a dreamy-eyed, matronly jersey, with a 
crumpled horn, and a pot-bag filled with rich, creamy milk- 
Daisy, her name. I could never pass her by without feeling 
like tipping my hat! In the garden, every variety of vege- 
table, from lady-peas to turnip salad. In an adjoining lot, a 
field of lucerne, waist high, crimson with flowers, which nod- 
ded under the weight of heavy-laden bees; in the center, a 
spreading apple tree, a mass of pink and white and yellow. 
It was apple blossom time. 



CHAPTER XV 

"HOLD ON, BOYS, DON'T HANG THE 
BRUTE! " 

OUR family was always blessed with good servants, aad, 
strangely enough, three of them were Lucys. There was 
Lucy Stone, our well-beloved slave, Lucy Long, the talented 
young octoroon, and Lucy Locket, the modest, ladylike 
daughter of Aaron and Jennie. We shall hear more of Lucy 
Locket and of Bennie, the strange, versatile, colored boy so 
sly, so devilish sly, as to be a real Joey Bagstock whom she 
afterwards took to husband. 

Lucy's attachment to my people was genuine. It arose oat 
of a dark and tragic episode: I once saved the poor child's 
daddy from the gallows. The story is long and horrifying, 
but must be told; it is a part of the Southern milieu and 
throws light upon the antagonisms often existing between 
whites and blacks. 

Out at Knapp of Reeds, a crossroads village twenty miles 
from Oxford, there lived a respected young doctor, with a 
wife and several small children. On a certain night in No- 
vember, as the clock was striking three, the Doctor heard a 
knocking on his door. A neighbor's child had been taken ill 
and the Doctor was wanted. In about an hour after the 
husband had gone away, as his wife was falling to sleep again, 
she was terror-stricken. A man had crawled through the 
window, jumped upon her bed, and was astride of her, reach- 
ing for her throat. Screaming and unstrung, she fled, clad in 
night dress, and fell, half dead, at a neighbor's door. The 
community rose up to a man. Excitement was deep and 

ominous. 

181 



182 "DON'T HANG THE BRUTE!" 

Suspicion pointed to a negro, John Taborn, a leader of his 
race, tall and copper-colored, who lived in the neighborhood. 
A ladder belonging to Tabom was found at the Doctor's 
window. Near by was discovered the suspected person's cap. 
His shoes fitted the tracks which led up to the ladder. He 
had been seen near the house during the afternoon of the 
tragedy. On this state of facts the case was presented to a 
judge and twelve jurors, ten of them negroes, the other two 
white Republicans. 

I had been employed by the Doctor to prosecute and assist 
the state's attorney. The reason that such an aggregation of 
negroes and whites should have come into the jury box is 
interesting. It arose in this way: the county was now Re- 
publican, and, when the Judge ordered the Sheriff to summon 
two hundred special jurors, he selected half from one race 
and half from the other one hundred whites and one hun- 
dred blacks. 

Now, when the jury was being chosen, all of the whites 
disqualified themselves. One by one, as they came to the 
book to be sworn, each declared he had formed and expressed 
an opinion that the prisoner was guilty. In this dilemma I 
did the best I could. I chose ten of the least objectionable 
negroes and succeeded in getting two white jurors. At the 
end of the first day this strange mixture a jury composed 
almost altogether of negroes to try one of their race for 
assaulting a white woman was empaneled and locked in 
their rooms. The court then stood adjourned until morning, 
and that night, in my office, a conference was held, the Doc- 
tor and scores of friends and neighbors attending. A more 
amazed, a more indignant, gathering of people, I never saw. 
"Lynch him!" was all I could hear. "Lynch the damned 
rascal the cards are stacked against us!" And the mob 
started for the jail. I stopped them. 

"Hold on, boys," I said. "I can convict that negro even 
with that jury." 



"DON'T HANG THE BRUTE!" 183 

Older heads came to my rescue, and the trial was suffered 
to proceed. Never was the Negro race more acclaimed 
in my harangue to the jury. I exhausted the list of noble 
black men. Othello, the big-souled Moor; Hannibal, the 
near-conqueror of Rome; Terence, the Latin poet; Dumas, 
the French novelist. Nor did I fail in a reference to the 
Queen of Sheba, Solomon's favorite, "comely" and black 
withal; and Simon, who bore the Savior's cross. But my 
eloquence did not avail. The jury hung. All Friday they 
hung, and Friday night, and Saturday, and Saturday night. 
And then the patience of my client and his sympathizers was 
exhausted. The mob spirit broke loose again. Fierce, wild 
men from Bowling Mountain and the Knapp of Reeds and 
the Virginia border brushed me aside as if I were a fly. 

Sunday at noon I was In my office, worn with anxiety and 
nervous, waiting. Nearby was the courthouse. From my 
window, I could see the jurors moving about. I could hear 
their voices, as they discussed the case. And just then, down 
the street, I discovered a clattering of horses* hoofs. I went 
out to see what was up. A hundred men were galloping 
around the square, their long rifles pointed towards the win- 
dows, out of which the negro jurors were peering. 

"What dat, boss?" asked one of the jurors of the officer in 
charge. 

"Damned if I know. Looks like Ku Klux to me." 

In a few minutes the court bell rang. Long and lustily 
it clanged. The jury had agreed. "Guilty of burglary in 
the first degree, with the death penalty." 

The verdict was duly recorded and death sentence pro- 
nounced. John Taborn was hanged. Thousands of negroes 
stood around the gallows, sulky and threatening. Two white 
military companies three hundred soldiers, with bayonets 
fixed and rifles charged to kill stood by and saw the noose 
tied, the trap sprung and the negro's neck broken. All 
trouble seemed over. But not so. 



184 "DON'T HANG THE BRUTE!" 

In less than a week the town of Oxford was set on fire, 
burned almost to a crisp. There was no paid fire company. 
Nothing but volunteers. "Fire! Fire!" rang out on the cold, 
midnight air. The only available water must come from 
town wells, and there were only two. "Fire! Water! Water! " 
everyone was screaming, as they rushed to the wells. But 
no water could be had. The well ropes had been cut, the 
chains had been broken. Hundreds of negroes stood by, idle, 
sulky, lending not a hand. In a few days the town was again 
set on fire, and detectives from Durham were sent for. As so 
often happens with amateurs, they rounded up the wrong 
man. A small, cross-eyed, harmless little negro, Aaron 
Locket, Lucy's daddy, had been made the goat. 

Now, Aaron was Sam Ellis' "nigger" and, at that time, 
whoever dared run over a "white man's nigger" had to run 
over the white man as well. Sam, therefore, came to consult 
me and I agreed to appear. When Aaron was arraigned 
before the mayor, Ellis and I were on hand, with plans well 
matured. We would offer no evidence, we would let the 
prisoner go to jail and await the subsidence of passion. In a 
few weeks court met, and, as the prosecution was lacking in 
evidence, I had no trouble in acquitting my client. My fee 
was a nominal one, the cause of justice having interested me 
and not the money which I might receive. 

In a short time little Lucy Locket, agile and friendly, be- 
came a member of our family, and was holding in her arms 
our first-born, almost as big as his nurse! Who, indeed, can 
estimate the love of us old fellows for our colored friends. 
Let me run ahead a bit and faintly illustrate this sentiment. 
Once during an epidemic of influenza my daughter's family 
were afflicted with this terrible disease every one of them 
stricken down, and the supply of trained nurses exhausted. 
The malady was highly contagious and victims, by the scores, 
were dying. No one ventured to go inside a sick room. No 
one but Lucy. Lucy went in and nursed our sick. In a few 



"DON'T HANG THE BRUTE!" 185 

weeks she, too, was attacked. And then, turn turn about, 
my daughter nursed Lucy, pot her in the best bed, sat by her 
side, and tenderly ministered to hen 

In well-ordered Southern families there was always a Lucy 
Locket, patient and easy-goingserving us not so much for 
money as for affection, proud of family tradition and sniffy 
of poor white trash! Unless one's "heart was in the right 
place," he had best fight shy of the aristocratic old darkey! 
For, as Alderman so well observed, when returning from a 
foreign trip, there are extant today only two specimens of 
the aristocratic past: the unchanging camel of the desert, and 
the old-time Southern darkey! 

Down in South Carolina I once had a friend whom every- 
one loved Aunt Mattie, a forthright woman of good com- 
mon sense and generous emotions. Now, Aunt Mattie's cook 
was Leila, and her housemaid, Fanny. Both coal black, both 
loyal, and each with willing hands and a tender heart. When 
Aunt Mattie had grown old and feeble, her thoughts wan- 
dered back to childhood days, out at Kitching's Mill, and 
she would have her colored friends come in to sing and talk 
with her. Finally the end came and Leila and Fanny were 
among the sorrowing ones. Just before the vital spark went 
out, Aunt Mattie feebly motioned to Fanny to hold her hand. 
Then came the end. The hand of the black woman had led 
the white woman through the dark waters. 

But there was another side to this picture: the great body 
of whites and blacks were drifting apart. Even in conserva- 
tive North Carolina, violence was on the increase. We have 
seen how Shadrack Hester and John Brodie were taken from 
jail and hung to a limb. And lynching begat lynching. In 
a few days the Regulators shot to death a "bad" negro, as 
he walked the streets. And then three other negroes were 
taken from jail and hanged to one limb, not larger than a 
man's wrist so small as to suggest sheer contempt and so 



186 "DON'T HANG THE BRUTE!" 

near the ground that the dead men's toes traced marks in the 
sand, as their bodies swayed to and fro. 

The hatred of poorer whites for blacks was simply un- 
believable. On one occasion, when our town constable was 
shot in the arm by a negro, he was so much humiliated that 
he ground his teeth in the flesh, bit off the wounded parts 
and spat them out. Frequently, the savagery of someone of 
a mob would become a badge of honor, a thing to be remem- 
bereda family heirloom. 

On the Virginia border, some twenty miles away, a negro 
once made an indecent approach to a reputable white woman, 
and her screams brought the neighbors. The brutish fellow 
was captured, taken to a near-by tree, and a rope wrapped 
around his neck. Just then a well-known doctor, my family 
physician, came galloping up. 

"Hold on, fellows," he shouted. "Don't hang the brute. 
Let's castrate him." 

The operation was performed and the crowd dispersed, 
the Doctor cautioning the victim to lie still for a full hour on 
penalty of bleeding to death if he stirred. Hardly were the 
words spoken when, through the woods, the terrified negro 
dashed. Many a time have I heard the Doctor relate this 
story, winding it up by sauntering over to his mantel and 
taking down a glass jar, hermetically sealed, and filled with 
alcohol. 

"Here they are, boys," he would laugh. 

All this sounds raw. It is raw. And yet I dare be sworn 
that the Doctor was one of the kindest and most generous 
men to be found in any community respected and beloved 
by blacks and whites alike. Large, portly, deliberate, with 
white silken beard, a twinkling eye, a merry laugh, and a 
natural aptitude for his profession, the Doctor was the ideal 
country physician. His mere presence would banish sickness 
and shoo death from the sick room. 

la those primitive days preventive remedies had scarcely 



"DON'T HANG THE BRUTE!" 187 

been heard of. Typhoid fever was often a scourge. Some- 
times an entire family would be wiped out by this affliction. 
At these rimes he became the community hero. He acted as 
nurse as well as physician, reckless of self and with no 
thought of compensation. In the cause of mercy he spent 
himself unsparingly. 

Oxford was a town without industries or wealth, but by 
no means a pent-up Utica. Churches dotted every comer; 
barrooms and brothels outnumbered them three to one. The 
war had left the little place awash. Seedy old Confederate 
colonels, wearing ante-bellum finery, sauntered down Main 
Street affecting the manners of Sir Roger de Coverley and 
the language of Addison. Adventurous fellows, returning 
from the Bad Lands of the Dakotas, where they had killed 
their man and sat on many a drum-head court martial, were 
now back at home, playing poker with visiting judges and 
lawyers, chasing foxes and hunting deer on the upper Roa- 
noke, and organizing the whites to put "bad n negroes in their 
place. Pious women were herding themselves, in Walter 
Page's expressive words, around the stagnant pools of the- 
ology. 

But, withal, Oxford was a place of culture. A Shakespeare 
Club was functioning. There were good schools, an out- 
standing orphanage, literary clubs, reading circles, and con- 
versational groups. Every night there would be games of 
chess and poker with high stakes and long hours. A story 
is told of a dignified old Oxford jurist. One morning, after 
he had spent a night at the card table, he found himself so 
much ahead of the game that his pockets bulged with bills, 
as he walked through the town on his way home. 

Another story is told of two boon companions, in their 
cups, each so afraid the other was drunk and could not find 
his way home that one escorted the other back and forth till 
the sun was well up in the sky. Strange characters called 
Oxford their home, and gave it a flavor few towns possessed. 



188 "DON'T HANG THE BRUTE!" 

One dandified little fellow our Beau Brummell in blue satin 
vest, patent-leather boots, yellow kid gloves, tall hat, and a 
sporty cane, was unexcelled for drollery and extravagance. 

During a season at Buffalo Springs, just over in the Old 
Dominion, our Brummell surpassed the reckless and bibulous 
sugar planters of Louisiana and the cotton kings of Mississippi. 
Strutting up to the bar and calling for a fifty-cent cigar, he 
pulled out a roll of money, selected a crisp, new dollar bill, 
Jit it by the igniter and coolly puffed ahead till his smoke 
was under way and the note had been consumed! 

When a poor woman died in Oxford, and no one volun- 
teered to take her body to the family burial ground thirty 
miles away, our little dandy, dressed as for a ball, with gloves 
and broad white shirt-front, undertook the job. He hired a 
hearse, deposited the body inside, threw a jug of liquor in for 
good measure, crawled up by the side of the jug, lashed the 
horses into a gallop and was off! As dandy, hearse and corpse 
rattled along the highway and through the little villages of 
Tally Ho and Bell Town and Knapp of Reeds, the astonished 
people came out to see. 

I once made a trade with one of these eccentrics, whose 
people had been wealthy. I bought a town lot, paying five 
hundred dollars cash, and imagined I had picked up a bargain. 
In fact I was in fear lest I might be hauled in court for 
cheating an imbecile. But I never was quite the contrary! 
After holding my lot several years, and hawking it on the 
market, I sold it at a loss of two hundred dollars! No one, 
in truth, should deal with a fool he's sure to be bit. I knew 
an old farmer who made just such a trade. He swapped a 
well-broken Kentucky mule for a worthless plug of a horse, 
a fine-looking animal, guaranteed by an idiot to be first class. 
When the old nag was hooked up to the wagon, he kicked, 
and when put to the plow, he backed and filled. 

"Look here, young man/' said the farmer, "if you don't 



"DON'T HANG THE BRUTE!" 189 

bring back my mule and take this old plug, Fm gwine tel 
your guardian." 

"Humph!" granted the Idiot. "My gargeen was appointed 
to keep other folks from cheating me, not to keep me from 
cheating them!" 

Perhaps the happiest days of my life were spent at Buffalo 
Springs, owned and operated by that stem, eagle-eyed Vir- 
ginian, Colonel Thomas Goode. Every season the atmos- 
phere of culture and refinement, together with the virtues 
of the waters of the Springs as a cure for kidney troubles, 
would draw together the choicest spirits from all over the 
South. Nearly every state would be represented, each hon- 
ored with a cottage bearing its name. At Buffalo we met 
such interesting people as Senator McCreery of Kentucky, 
Governor Bloxom of Florida, Nichols of Louisiana, Jones of 
Alabama, Holt of North Carolina, Swanson of Virginia, and 
congressmen, judges, and lawyers. 

Buffalo was a synonym for simplicity and hospitality. 
There were a thousand acres of oak and hickory and of 
meadow and wheat and corn lands. The main building was 
situated in the center of a grove of fine trees. Scores of 
cottages stood around. Surmounting Buffalo Creek was the 
Goode cottage. Upon the hill were the Laird cottage and 
Patterson Heights. Bachelor quarters were known as Rowdy 
Row. In the rear of Rowdy Row, Solomon's Temple was 
the resort of the poker crowd. 

Equidistant from the cottages, and at the foot of a long hill 
was spring No. i, with a gracious canopy, under which 
pretty, red-cheeked girls led their beaux a merry dance. 
Near the spring house were the bowling alley and ten acres 
of garden, rich and loamy and groaning with the weight of 
summer and fall vegetables and Rocky Ford cantaloupes. 
The stables would house a score of horses. 

After a year of labor and toil how restful to me was Buffalo 
Springs! Early in June my little family and I would arrive. 



190' "DON'T HANG THE BRUTE!" 

Those were days to be remembered and nights never to be 
forgotten. At ten in the morning we would assemble in the 
Laird cottagethe Ed Stnidwicks of Hillsboro, the Allison 
Hodges and Valentines of Richmond, the Boylans of Raleigh, 
the Holts of Haw River, the Lairds of Boydton, and the Cald- 
well Hardys of Norfolk. Perhaps they would ask me to 
read a scene from Pickwick, or we would have a rubber of 
whist. Sometimes a bowling match would be arranged, with 
sides of four and prizes and souvenirs. Soon after the noon 
hour Billy Boylan would call out that the juleps were frosty. 
Then off would stroll a merry party to the genial Alexander 
cottage, sipping juleps and telling funny stories till dinner 
was announced at two. 

After dinner the ladies would stroll off to their cottages to 
rest and gossip. The men would gather on the veranda of 
the main building and talk, not in detached groups but in a 
body, as only a Southern man can talkof ridiculous court 
scenes, of political conventions, and mainly of war. 

"By God, sirs, if Albert Sidney Johnston could have lived 
thirty minutes longer, at Shiloh, he would have destroyed 
Grant's army, driven it in the river and ended the war!" 

"Quite right, sir. Sidney Johnston was the greatest genius 
that ever drew sword." 

"Not greater than Stonewall Jackson, Colonel?" 

"Yes, sir, counting the odds, he was." 

"But, Colonel, could we ever have won?" 

"Undoubtedly, sir, if we had taken Washington, after first 
Manassas. Beauregard was right, sir; we should have marched 
into Washington, taken the Capitol and got foreign recog- 



nition." 



"Well, gentlemen, in my humble judgment, we lost when 
Stonewall Jackson was killed. God Almighty himself could 
not whip us till he put old Jack out of the way." 

"Them's my sentiments; we should have forced the fight- 
ing, as Stonewall insisted." 



"DON'T HANG THE BRUTE!" 191 

"Forced hell! Young man, do you know how many 
and skirmishes and other engagements took place dering 
four years of hell and destruction? No? Well, I'll 
you. Three thousand, In all. Yes, three thousand, big and 
little. Two fights for every day in the year, Sundays in- 
cluded. No, gentlemen, Marse Robert was a fighter; no tiger 
ever fought as he did." 

At one of our morning readings an incident of sociological 
significance occurred. I had just read The Dream of John 
Ball, a stirring appeal to the rich to become social-minded and 
share their culture with the less favored, a sentiment which 
greatly moved those who sat around and heard the reading. 

"Now that's what I say/' spoke up one of the De Rosset 
girls. 

"And so do I," said Annie Roulhac. 

'Well, why not do something about it and do it right 
BOW?" put in a third convert to the teachings of John Ball* 

It resulted that the Misses De Rosset and Roulliac, aristo- 
crats to their finger tips, were appointed a committee to cany 
out our uplifting project. They were expected to call on 
Reverend Mr. Ray, a Methodist preacher, leader of a group 
of thirty or forty simple-minded people who had not been 
enjoying the juleps and cards and bowk and dances! We 
proposed to break through our iciness and share our pleasures 
with these poor people give them social recognition and 
distinction! Pretty soon the committee got busy. Meeting 
up with the large, oleaginous Parson, jolly and big-voiced 
Fanny De Rosset jauntily hailed him. 

"Good morning, Mr. Ray," she said, "I am Fanny De 
Rosset." 

"What's the name?" roared the Parson, attracting no end 
of attention, and making a cup of his ear. Abashed by the 
Parson's patronizing tone and the disturbance she had created, 
the chairman mildly repeated her name. 

"De Rosset? De Rosset? * . . Seems to me I have hearn 



192 "DON'T HANG THE BRUTE!" 

tell of that name. Now, sister, why didn't you make your- 
self known sooner? I am leaving in the morning and I could 
have helped you gals enjoy yourselves!" 

The committee made due report and was discharged with 
thanks and laughter! 

One evening, as we were all seated at the six o'clock supper 
table in the big dining room, we heard ear-piercing screams 
from the direction of my cottage. With one impulse, we 
started up a dozen of us, men and women running for dear 
life to see what had happened. As we approached, the 
screams increased. Through the door we burst, and there 
in the middle of the floor was my lusty, full-blooded young 
son, aged four, whom Lucy had left for a moment to fetch 
a porringer of milk, jumping up and down and screaming, 
"I want to pee! I want to pee!" It will not detract from 
this little story, I trust, to mention the fact that twenty years 
later the little chap in question was a Captain in the World 
War and firing heavy guns in the Argonne forest. 

The Horner sisters six of them in all were good house- 
keepers and given to hospitality. At their boards one might 
expect wit and good cheer. And our home endeavored to 
keep up the family tradition. One evening, at each term of 
court, the judge and lawyers would be with us to digest 
plump partridges, sizzling link-sausages, crisp waffles, and 
Lady Baltimore cake the occasion enlivened by sundry bot- 
tles of port and sauterne supplied by a cheerful salesman 
named Pottle, representing the Brotherhood Wine Company. 

The annual visit of Mother and Sister was anticipated with 
delight. Once my old schoolmate, Will Fuller, came over 
from Durham, in search of rest and quiet. Moreover he was 
in a dilemma, and wished to talk the matter over with me. 
Previously he had been the attorney of the Bull Durham 
Tobacco Company and of J. S Carr, its president, generous 
to a fault, and our very first millionaire. 

But recently the Duke family, unfriendly to Carr, had also 



"DON'T HANG THE BRUTE!" 193 

employed Fuller. In this dilemma the young lawyer 
perplexed. And his troubles grew when Cart became a candi- 
date for Governor and asked Fuller to take charge of IMS 
campaign. What should the young fellow do, shake his old 
friend or forego a large retainer and possibly a great fortune? 
With the Fuller loyalty he came out for his friend. Nor 
did he lose the Duke business. Fuller was an unusual man. 
He rose from the office of a country lawyer to be a financial 
factor in the city of New York As attorney for the Ameri- 
can Tobacco Company he directed matters of the greatest 
magnitude both in America and in England, and his work 
was so well done that the tobacco interests were less affected 
by the depression than any other. 

Strikingly handsome, and with a genius for friendship, 
Will Fuller was as simple as John Marshall. Seeking no office, 
ridiculing tides, shams and pretenses, running with the bar- 
becue crowd and the horse-swappers, hanging around Black- 
nalTs confer drugstore when not engaged in business, swap- 
ping homely yarns with the country people such was Fuller, 
in his younger days. His home in New York whither he 
moved when under forty was never to his liking. 

At fifty he retired to his farm, "Hayrnount," near Briar- 
cliff, up the Hudson. There, his advancing years were 
gladdened by visits from boyhood friends. At Haymount 
he lived the life of a retired gentleman, as George Washing- 
ton and the Fathers had done. 

Frequently Brother George would run over to Oxford and 
delight us with his unfailing wit. Brother, indeed, continued 
to be a second father to me. Walking around my premises 
a widespreading lawn and a two-acre garden he would speak 
words of praise. The homelikeness of the surroundings gave 
him satisfaction. My knack gf saving money touched him. 

"Robert," he would laugh, "you remind me of old Uncle 
Ben, our crazy slave. When I would give the old man a 



194 "DQWT HANG THE BRUTE!" 

piece of money, he would bow and grin, and dance the half- 
around and croon: 

There's no friend so true, 
As a dollar or two." 

Brother would often compare me to Father, and he and my 
wife would laugh at my conservatism and declare I was radi- 
cal in nothing but moderation! The attention of my wife 
to the table, where nothing fried or greasy appeared, pro- 
voked Brother to unstinted commendation. We had a special 
kind of whole-wheat bread, well risen and light as a feather, 
whose virtue consisted in a small addition of Irish potato to 
prevent dryness. When these wonderful rolls would make 
their appearance, he would call out, "Hail the all Sophronias!" 
in honor of the maker. 

On one occasion, soon after a visit of Brother, I discovered 
that Lina, our faithful cook, was with child, though minus a 
husband. In my distress, not at a violation of the Command- 
ment but at losing Lina's services for a season, I conveyed the 
sad intelligence to Brother. In reply he wrote, "Do you 
expect all the virtues for three dollars a month?" 



CHAPTER XVI 
"I CAN'T VOTE FOR THAT RASCAL!" 

"WHILE still a member of the Senate, I became a candidate 
for Solicitor of a district composed of eight counties and 
including the flourishing towns, Durham and Greensboro. 
This job was not only lucrative but a stepping-stone to some- 
thing higher. Frankly, I again admit I was out for self and 
not for the public good. If selected as prosecuting attorney, 
I intended to do my duty and conduct myself in the dignified 
and orderly manner of my predecessors, but I had no reform 
measures up my sleeve and no changes to suggest. 

Now this statement, as I know, is out of line with prece- 
dent, it being said of aspiring statesmen that they are sacrific- 
ing self for the public good! In this connection, I will remark 
that much harm has come from just such Buncombe. Young 
people know their forefathers were not angels. Why keep 
up the delusion? Everywhere human nature is the same. 
Virtue is a matter of degree. 

At the convention, which met in Durham, I failed to get 
the nomination. The leaders were against me. Yet the result 
was dose. On the third ballot, when all candidates had been 
dropped except Jake Long and myself, the vote stood 165% 
for Long and 164% for Winston an indecisive result, since 
the convention had adopted a resolution that the successful 
candidate must have received more than a fractional majority. 
But, when Fred Strudwick, Long's manager, a man of irre- 
sistible gifts of oratory, took the floor and insisted that the 
majority, however small, should rule, the convention was 
thrown into confusion. Friends of each candidate jumped to 

195 



196 "I CAN'T VOTE FOR THAT RASCAL!" 

their feet and spoke in fiery language, my delegates calling 
out, "Vote! Vote! Ballot!" 

Now, a leader of the Orange delegation was Brother 
George, always more Interested in my success than his own. 
Quickly leaving the hall, he came running down to the hotel 
to bring the news of the deadlock. What should we do, 
demand another ballot or concede Long's nomination? We 
decided wisely. I should hasten to the convention and with- 
draw. 

In a trice, Brother and I were in the hall, and as I strode 
down the crowded aisle and through the agitated concourse, 
the hubbub ceased. Stillness reigned. It was felt that some- 
thing was in the air. Mounting the rostrum, and rising to 
my full height, I declared, in a bold, ringing voice, that men 
perished, passed away and were forgotten, but not so with 
principles. Great principles never died! 

"In this crisis," I exclaimed, "I am nothing, the grand old 
Democratic party is everything. Therefore, here and now, 
I withdraw my name and ask that the nomination of the 
Honorable Jacob Long be made unanimous!" 

Amidst great shouting and clapping of hands, the result 
was announced and harmony restored. The convention soon 
adjourned, and the delegates Long men and Winston men- 
came forward and took me by the hand and praised me to the 
sky. "Look here, young man," they said, "whenever you 
run again, let us know. We are for you for anything, from 
Judge to Governor." As we shall presently see, this was 
one of the wisest steps of my life. Out of defeat came vic- 
tory. I had done something unselfish, something magnani- 
mous, something out of the ordinary. 

There is a lesson in this defeat, a lesson for all who lose out 
in any contest. The man of nerve and pride and foresight 
is more benefited by defeat than by victory. Defeat will 
spur forward such a man. He will resolve that the world 
shall know he is not a weakling but a grown man. Perhaps, 



"I CAN'T VOTE FOR THAT RASCAL!" 

at the time, I did not understand the significance of my defeat. 
I did not then know that opposites are so much alike. A 
virtue, unduly extended, may become a vice: Liberty carried 
to excess is tyranny. 

After my defeat I did not run for office again for several 
years. Yet I kept before the people, my ear to the ground. 
I attended political conventions, served on Democratic com- 
mittees, and made campaign speeches. I addressed schools, 
colleges and picnics. It was a time of political disquietude. 
The farmers were restless, cotton bringing five cents a pound, 
wheat sixty cents a bushel, tobacco less than the cost of pro- 
duction. 

The farmers were ready to bolt. The Grange movement 
was gaining strength. Even as early as 1888 the Southern 
states would have voted against Cleveland and his gold- 
standard, civil-service, free-trade doctrines, but for fear of 
the Force Bill and Negro domination. 

The year 1888 saw an end of Brigadier rule; it also marks 
the beginning of a new era in politics. At that time the 
under-dog began to assert himself; the toilers became articu- 
late. In the Democratic State Convention Colonel Steele 
nominated for Governor a practical farmer, Sid Alexander. 
In a memorable speech, the Colonel, a planter, a manufac- 
turer, and a member of Congress, called attention to the 
unhappy condition of agriculture. 

"Ah," said he, in his broad Scotch accent, "our Governor 
should be neither lawyer nor warrior but a common-sense 
farmer. And such a man I have in mind. I would not detract 
from the well-earned fame of our opponents, from the good 
name of Judge Fowle, or the military record of Major Sted- 
man, but, sirs, I remind you that there are hills beyond Pent- 
land and firths beyond Forth." 

Though Fowle was nominated, the seeds of a social revolu- 
tion had been sown and were soon to germinate. In the con- 
vention I voted for Alexander, not because I endorsed or 



198 "I CAN'T VOTE FOR THAT RASCAL! " 

understood his views but because of family ties. In the cam- 
paign I canvassed for Fowle, and so did Alexander. The 
farmers likewise fell into line and voted the Democratic 
ticket, placing party above pecuniary consideration. But this 
was almost the last time the party whip cracked successfully. 
The farmers soon broke away from their old moorings. 

At this time, indeed, portents of evil confronted the Demo- 
crats. Ever since Jarvis, the progressive Governor, had gone 
out of office, the party had been marking rime, its leaders 
content with the past and the drawing of salaries. The appeals 
of such Populists as PefE er and Weaver, in the West, and 
L. L. Polk and Marion Butler went unheeded. The demand 
for free silver and protection for the farmer, as well as the 
manufacturer, was laughed to scornit was an idle dream. 
"When I present your grievances to our political bosses," ex- 
claimed Colonel Polk, addressing a gathering of Populists one 
day, "what reply do I receive? A scornful 'Plow on! Plow 



on!'" 



The year 1889 was the centennial of our University. In 
1793 the cornerstone of the Old East had been laid and the 
first state-college building in America begun. The centen- 
nial occasion was celebrated in befitting style. The congres- 
sional delegation attended, and so did the Governor and his 
staff and hundreds of alumni. The campus was gay with 
state and college flags, with music and dancing and oratory. 
A comprehensive movement to organize the alumni was 
begun, and a fund to supplement state appropriations sub- 
scribed. 

And when Carr, class of '65, rounded out the requisite 
amount by a gift of ten thousand dollars, there was such a 
scene as I had never witnessed. A gift of ten thousand dol- 
lars! Why, the thing was impossible; it staggered credulity. 
Nothing of the kind had ever been heard of before. 

On alumni day the classes were called in order, beginning 
with the ante-bellum. And then the old boys, loyal sons of 



<C I CAN'T VOTE FOR THAT RASCAL!" 199 

Carolina, most of them followers of Lee and Joseph E. John- 
ston, rose and told of their struggles and triumphs and pledged 
loyal support to Alma Mater. 

After the class of 1865 had been heard from, the order of 
exercises was changed, and the class of '79 was requested to 
come forward. Proudly we came, twelve of us, Billy Peele, 
our sedate president, and Frank Winston, our jovial secretary, 
in the lead. The roll call disclosed no absentees. All were 
present, young men soon to cut some figure: an Episcopal 
bishop, a justice of the Supreme Court, a circuit judge, a 
congressman, a mayor of a flourishing city, a IL S. district 
attorney, an eye specialist, a successful planter, a banker, a 
manufacturer, a notable neurologist, an old-fashioned coun- 
try doctor. 

The preliminaries over, Peele turned to the audience, which 
crowded the new Memorial Hall, and explained that the class 
of '79 had offered a silver cup to the first male child born 
to one of its numbers, and the committee appointed to in- 
vestigate had made due report. "This high honor," said he, 
"has fallen to the lot of a son born to Robert Watson Win- 



ston." 



"Amidst great applause," so the President, in his History 
of the University, writes, the lucky father and his five-year- 
old rose, the boy in a Lord Fauntleroy suit Best & Company's 
choicest creationknee pants, silk stockings, slippers with 
silver buckles, a sailor collar of lace, and a blood-red sash. 

"Teach this youth," said Billy Peele, "to fall in love with 
some great truth, tenderly to woo it and bravely to wed it." 

"Classmates," said I, "this expression of love moves me 
greatly. And the more so since the class of '79 was never 
given to emotionalism. A self-willed body, thoroughgoing 
individualists, in fact, we sat in the rear of our affections. 
We were wedded to liberty, but to liberty under restraint. 
It is not my province, however, to make a speech; the accept- 
ance of this gift should be by the recipient of it." 



200 "I CAN'T VOTE FOR THAT RASCAL!" 

I then took my little boy by the hand and conducted him 
to the front and he repeated, in clear, childish voice, these 
simple lines, composed by our cousin Betty Jordan: 

If ever I have an eldest son 
And he's a little boy like me 
And doesn't know a single thing, 

Not even ABC, 

I hope he won't get a silver cup, 
For then perhaps they'd pull him up 
Before some crowd to blush and bow 
And make a speech when he didn't know how. 

The University Centennial of 1889 was the occasion of 
my first visit to the Hill since graduating in law, and I noticed 
many improvements. A railroad had been built. A reading 
room with magazines and papers had been provided. The 
college was growing more liberal. Students could now belong 
to the Republican party and walk through the campus with- 
out insult or badinage. The older professors were dead and 
gone great-hearted men, just the sort to raise up the old 
University from her ashes. In their places had come younger 
leaders, better scholars no doubt, more learned and more 
technical, but were they more useful? 

The changes in Father's family were even greater than at 
our University. Sister had married a lovable fellow, a com- 
fort to us all and a lawyer of wide learning. At sixty-six 
Father had passed away, and not far from his resting place, 
in St. Thomas' Churchyard, sleeps his humble friend, Charlie 
Shepherd. My three brothers were now lined up against the 
Democratic party. Frank, a Republican member of the Sen- 
ate and always to be found on the side of progress and lib- 
erality: greater endowments for Chapel Hill, larger appropri- 
ations for hospitals and orphanages, and substantial aid for 
scientific, agricultural experiments. 

Brother George, less vocal because of his position as pro- 



"I CAN'T VOTE FOR THAT RASCAL!" 201 

fessor, was critical of the slipshod methods of our and 
of towns, cities, and counties in having neither nor 

budgets. The people were wholly without knowledge of 
financial affairs. "Why should not the South do as New 
England, hold town meetings, discuss public affairs, and 
them publicity?" 

Brother Pat had ostracized himself, taken up his abode on 
the Pacific coast. Before joining the Republican party he 
had built up a good practice at Winston-Salem, but a change 
from Democrat to Republican had been fatal. His business 
had left him. A conversation between him and Cam Buxton, 
when he was leaving for his Western home, is characteristic. 

"Good-by, Buxton," said he to his generous friend, "when 
next I cross the Rockies it will be as a corpse or a congress- 



man." 



This prophecy was not literally fulfilled, but in spirit it was. 
In the growing state of Washington Brother made a place for 
himself. Soon he filled high offices. President Harrison 
appointed him United States Attorney, and the people elected 
him Attorney-General. But his name is not remembered 
from the places he held. Office seemed but to lessen Ms 
fame. An open life, great-heartedness, never-failing wit, 
these gifts set him apart. As James Hamilton Lewis, Con- 
gressman from Washington, once remarked, "When the story 
of the great West is told, its pages will be writ large in terms 
of Patrick H. Winston." 

Soon after Brother Pat was appointed U. S. Attorney, a 
citizen of Boston wrote and enquired as to the city of Spokane. 
The writer wished to move to that progressive place and make 
it his home. 

"What, then, are the chief industries of Spokane?" he 
asked. 

"Dear Sir/' was the answer, "Your letter, asking about the 
chief industries of Spokane, has been received. In reply I 
will say that our chief industries are grand and petit larceny. 



202 "1 CAN'T VOTE FOR THAT RASCAL!" 

If you are not good at either of these, I advise you to stay at 
home!" As might be expected this pungent and grotesque 
turn was greatly appreciated by the cosmopolitan citizens of 
the expanding West* 

On one occasion Brother, very bald, very fat and very 
short, was canvassing for the Republican ticket and great 
numbers had assembled, men carried away by Bellamy's new 
whimsy an equal distribution of wealth among the people. 
In the crowd was a lank, long-haired, bushy-whiskered indi- 
vidual who soon grew tired of a speech based on constitu- 
tional principles. Rushing upon the stage, this wild-eyed, 
hirsute Marxian confronted the speaker. 

"Colonel Winston," he roared, "we are tired of your plati- 
tudes. What we want you to explain is the unequal distribu- 
tion of wealth." 

"Ill do it, my friend,'* said the speaker, placing his bald 
pate by the side of the hairy intruder. "But you must first 
explain the unequal distribution of hair!" 

Though reverentially inclined, Brother admired the free- 
thinkers of the ages, Voltaire, Ingersoll, and others. Indeed, 
he concluded that life to the thoughtful person is a puzzle so 
complicated that he usually passes through three stages, rev- 
erence, ridicule, and contempt. Or, to use his words, "We 
first worship the gods, we then make the gods and we then 
despise them!" 

Naturally, so open-hearted, versatile, and cosmopolitan a 
being was without money-senseone day very rich and the 
next as poor as Lazarus. Once, while Attorney-General at- 
tending the Supreme Court at Olympia, he received a tele- 
gram announcing that his home had caught fire and was burn- 
ing up. "Your wire received," he replied, "and I trust to 
God the mortgage is burning with the house!" Another 
story is told. When Colonel Winston, as he was now called, 
was driving through a narrow road he met a wealthy, over- 
bearing citizen. Each man was in a horse-drawn vehicle, and 



"I CAN'T VOTE FOR THAT RASCAL!" 203 

one or the other was under the necessity of the right- 

of-way. "Give me the road, n the stranger yelled. "I am the 
President of the Union Trust Company; I am Mr. Stone, sir." 

"Yes, by God, and I am Patrick HL Winston, sir, if yon 
don't get out of my way, Mr. Stone, 111 macadamize the road 
with you!" 

It will be observed that my Immediate kindred, except 
Father, had rebelled against the existing order. We were, 
Indeed, a family In mild revolt. Father and I alone were 
conservatives. Neither he nor I was a venturesome spirit, 
We were cautions. We understood that the South was In a 
blind alley. The Negro question prevented discussion, pre- 
vented liberty of speech, prevented a free ballot. As for 
myself I was a standpatter. With David B. Hill of New York 
I proclaimed: "I am a Democrat!" Once only did I waver 
and grow rebellious* 

A corrupt fellow was on our ticket, running for office. I 
bucked. 

"Mr. Cooper,'* said I, to the chairman of our committee, "I 
just can't vote for that rascal." 

"Well, Winston," rejoined the canny old Scotchman, bit- 
ing down on his quid of tobacco, "when you get my age all 
you'll want to know is the name of our son-of-a-bltch!" 

Now it was not difficult for an old secession Democrat to 
line up with the existing order: he was at home, I was not. 
I could not forget the teachings of my childhood days, how 
those patriots, Badger and Graham and Morehead and GUnier 
and Worth had declared that hotheads South and hotheads 
North had played into each other's hands and wrecked the 
fair land of Dixie. But I acquiesced and followed old man 
Cooper, voting for every rascal on our ticket. Not only 
did I eat crow, but smacked my lips and said It was good! 

In a few years a vacancy occurred in the office of Judge 
of the district, and my name came before the convention. 
Four of us entered the race, Womack, the able encumbent, 



204 "I CAN'T VOTE FOR THAT RASCAL!' 1 

Baldy Henderson, a grandson of the famous Chief Justice of 
that name, Levi Scott, a scholarly lawyer, and myself. On 
the first ballot I was nominated, carrying every vote in my 
home county, and in Durham, Person, and Orange, with three 
votes from Alamance. At twenty-nine I was a judge, passing 
upon the lives and property of nearly three million people. 

Out of the defeat at the Solicitor's convention had come 
victory defeat had made me a judge. At the polls in No- 
vember I was duly elected, indeed, I received, I believe, a 
larger vote than any other candidate. And, at ten o'clock 
on the night of the election, my wife's charming, jocular, 
roguish young sister, wife of my chum, Henry Cooper- 
presenting him by the way with nine handsome children 
without a wrinkle in her face staged a mock celebration of 
my victory. She gathered together the neighboring young- 
sters, and over they came to our home, with tooting horns 
and rub-a-dub-dub tin pans, yelling like wild Indians and 
hurrahing for "J-u-d-g-e W-i-n-s-t-o-n." "Speech! Speech! 
Speech!" they screamed. 

My wife's sisters cared little for politics or office. The 
Church and the history of their mother's people were their 
long suit they preferred to be descended from Sir Thomas 
More, of Utopia fame, than to hold any office. Their days 
and nights were given to a study of Church history. They 
were thoroughly convinced that the Church of England ante- 
dated the Church of Rome! At a general convention of the 
Church, held in Richmond, the Bishop of London was the 
big shot, and one of the girls was a delegate, mainly, as I 
used teasingly to say, for the purpose of getting a first-hand 
denial from so high a source of the false charge that the 
Church of England had its origin in the fifteenth century. 

"Bishop," she said, her eyes sparkling, "do correct the error 
that Henry the Eighth established our church." 

"Why, dear lady," answered His Reverence, "the very 
frogs around Fulham Palace know better than that!" This 



"I CAN'T VOTE FOR THAT RASCAL!" 205 

delpHc answer was entirely" satisfactory and went the rounds 
of the faithful 

The first court I held was in Raleigh, the county seat of 
Wake. It was officered by new men all around, a new 
solicitor, a new sheriff , a new clerk, and a brand new judge, 
not yet thirty years of age. The docket was crowded six 
capital felonies and numerous other grave cases. In the bar 
were seated a number of strong lawyers, ready to take advan- 
tage of any loophole in the law. In this situation, I called 
the solicitor, Ed Pou, into my chambers and closed the door. 

"Pou," I said, "^ne word. We are all new hands at the 
bellows and we must be orthodox." 

During the remainder of the term from January to July, 
around a dozen firesides, Pou delighted in telling this story, 
winding it up with a hearty laugh. There were two of these 
Pou boys, Jim and Ed, and of all the heavyweights I came in 
contact with none gave an impression of greater intellectual 
force. They were giants, and nothing less. Many a solicitor 
served under me but not one surpassed Ed Pou. Usually 
kind, even tender-hearted, he was a very thunderbolt in the 
prosecution of the guilty. A noble man, the idol of his 
district, he soon went to Congress, and served until he died, 
having rounded out a longer term than any one of his associ- 
ates. Had Pou retained his health, and been as fit physically 
in Congress as in the solicitor's office, undoubtedly he would 
have come close to the presidency. In shattered health, he 
was a mainstay of President Wilson's administration. 

In my court there were no rigid rules, yet I conducted 
myself in as dignified a way as the gravity of the business 
required. I was prompt in attendance. When ruling on a 
point of law I was impersonal and detached. It was not I 
who spoke but the Court. "The Court is against you, Brother 
Busbee," I would quietly rule, not raising my voice. While 
I tempered justice with mercy, I punished criminals, and 
punished them severely. I was not a maudlin sentimentalist. 



206 "I CAN'T VOTE FOR THAT RASCAL!" 

It may be that punishment for crime is wrong, it may be we 
ought to coddle the criminal and say he is not bad, he is 
merely sick, or has had bad surroundings. But our civiliza- 
tion is based on an opposite theory, and I followed the old 
paths. 

On the bench I was careful not to indulge in much talk. 
I remembered Lord Bacon's warning, "a much speaking judge 
is an Hi-tuned cymbal," and Colonel Armfield's sizing up of 
John Gray Bynum, who had just gone on the bench, "An 
honest judge and skilled in the law, but he will cluck on the 
nest!" When off the bench, I suffered no one to talk to me 
about court business, and, above all other considerations, I 
endeavored to administer even-handed justice. 

One custom of mine worked very well I would suggest 
to the solicitor that he call over the docket and get rid of 
uncontested cases. Then call it over again and dispose of 
the short cases. In this way only a few long cases would 
remain, and thousands of dollars, in the cost of witnesses and 
jurors, would be saved. Finally, I may say, I made it a rule 
to punish no one for doing anything which I myself was 
doing. In a prohibition county, where the possession of 
spirits was illegal, I cut out whiskey. 

And yet I did not wholly succeed in keeping my judicial 
skirts clear. Down in Johnston County Jim Pou and Ed 
appeared for the plaintiff in a damage suit against the railroad. 
Pou, Sr., father of the boys, a solid, reflective old citizen a 
Republican by the way appeared for the road, and was 
assisted by Fab Busbee, the brilliant, dashing Prince Rupert 
of the Raleigh bar. 

Now as the Pou boys had a poor case a drunken client 
suing the railroad for unlawful ejection from a passenger 
coach they beat the bushes! When the conductor testified 
that the plaintiff was drunk and creating a disturbance, he 
was subjected to a severe cross-examination. 



i I CAN'T VOTE FOR THAT RASCAL! " 207 

"Didn't you come here on a railroad pass?" thundered Ed 
Pou. 

"We object/ 5 Interrupted Busbee. 

" What's the object of the question?" the Court asked. 

"Why, if Your Honor please, we are attacking the wit- 
ness* character." 

"Do you think having a pass would affect his character?" 

"Undoubtedly, Your Honor. What Is a pass but a bribe?" 

"Objection overruled. Proceed, sir," said the Court; re- 
flecting that In his pocket, at that moment, he had no less 
than twenty-five free passes, over every railroad and every 
steamboat in the state! Pou, the elder, spoke last. Address- 
Ing himself to the thin, scant evidence upon which his sons 
rested their case, he quietly remarked that the suit was a 
baseless onemere highway robbery! He could conceive of 
nothing like it, "except upon the far eastern desert where, 
now and then, a gang of bandits would rush forward and 
attack a rich caravan, hoping to gain great booty thereby!" 

The old gentleman won his case, but his victory did not 
solace my wounded feelings. I was in the fix of the train 
conductor I, too, had come to court on a free pass. If the 
conductor was a man of bad character, so was I! In this 
state of mind, I ran down to Raleigh and hastened across to 
the Supreme Court rooms to interview my seniors five of 
them. The court was in conference and the Marshal refused 
to admit me. "But," said I, "I must see the judges, my busi- 
ness is urgent." 

In a few minutes I was admitted and there, at the head of 
the table, sat Chief Justice Merrimon. My unusual experi- 
ence was soon related and provoked hearty laughter, though 
each of my auditors had as many passes as I had. After a 
short conference we agreed that passes should be abolished, 
and worked out a plan accordingly* Judge Brown and I 
were appointed a committee to present the facts to the legis- 
lature and ask them to declare passes illegal and allow each 



208 "I CAN'T VOTE FOR THAT RASCAL! " 

judge three hundred dollars to cover traveling expenses. And 
though, when I told the legislative committee my Johnston 
County experiences, the laugh was on me, the law was 
changed, free passes were abolished and a small sum appropri- 
ated in their stead. Most cheerfully, I burned my passes and 
got back my good character. 



CHAPTER XVII 

"NOR, NOTHIN' WORTH RELATIN', ONLY 
THE CROWD'S HUNG THAT NIGGER" 

OF late years the word "nigger" has come to be considered 
an offensive epithet, but, in the good old days, such was not 
always the case. When I was a chid, the term might con- 
note the greatest sympathy, the greatest comradeship, the 
most unselfish love. In a spasm of affection I have known 
Mother to catch me up in her arms and declare I was her 
precious, darling, baby boy, and then, rising to the very limit 
of love's farthest reach, she would cuddle me and smother 
me with kisses and whisper in my ear, oh, how lovingly, 
"Mammy's little nigger!" And I was proud to be "Mammy's 
little nigger" I knew its worth. 

It must not be forgotten that before the Negro was set free 
he occupied the same place in society that the child does in 
the family or the boy in the schoolroom. He was under 
authority. For violating the criminal law he was not taken 
into court but was thrashed by the overseer. Each large 
plantation had its patrols, called by the slaves "patterrollers." 
The duty of the patterrollers was to preserve order and pre- 
vent the slaves from wandering out of bounds without the 
master's pass. In a word a slave plantation was a training 
school and the slaves were under the jurisdiction of the insti- 
tution. The chorus of an old plantation song may illustrate 
the point: 

Run, nigger, run, the patterroller'll catch you, 
Run, nigger, run, tie ... yie . . . yie! 

209 



210 "THE CROWD'S HUNG THAT NIGGER" 

After the slaves were liberated, their relation to society 
and the law was changed. The Thirteenth Amendment set 
the Negro free, the Fourteenth undertook to guarantee rights 
of citizenship, the Fifteenth to give the ballot. It resulted 
that thousands of cases of stealing and fighting, which for- 
merly had been punished by the overseers, were now on the 
dockets. Nor was my court an exception. In the Black Belt, 
where there were two blacks to one white, I tried hundreds 
of negroes for crimes and misdemeanors. In this black dis- 
trict, composed of eight or ten counties, a negro, George 
White, was prosecuting attorney, and, as his salary depended 
on the number of cases he could convict, he was always on 
the job. His plea for the conviction of a colored man, 
before a white jury, was amusing. 

Sweating and roaring, the big yellow fellow would rush 
at the jury exclaiming, "Guilty? Yes, gentle^e^, of course 
he's guilty. Why, just watch his capers. He waits twell 
the moon goes down, then he puts guano sacks under his 
shoes to hide his tracks, and he slips up to the back of the 
horg pen and cuts that pig's throat, so he can't squeal, and 
off he runs. Now w^n't that jwt like a nigger?" 

We Democrats had divided the state in such manner that 
all districts, except one in the eastern Black Belt and two in 
the western section, were solidly for us. Whereupon the 
negroes of the Black Belt proceeded to send one of their 
number, O'Hara, to Congress. Another, White, they elected 
prosecuting attorney. Now, Northampton was one of the 
counties in White's district, and there I tried a case of unusual 
interest. 

Two negroes, of bad reputation, had been indicted for 
burning General Ransom's barns. Excitement was running 
high, though the evidence was meager, really little more than 
a scintilla. The General, however, was convinced of the 
guilt of the parties and beside himself with anger. He had 
employed Day and Busbee to aid Solicitor White. 



"THE CROWD'S HUNG THAT NIGGER" 211 

The negro prisoners had secured the services of Robert 
Burton, whom many considered the strongest all-around law- 
yer In that section. Usually quiet, a recluse, when 
aroused Burton became a mountain torrent. And on this 
occasion he was aroused. He drew his sword and 
away the scabbard. When he went to the jury he no 
man, not even the mighty Ransom, Brigadier General 
U. S. Senator. 

"In this matter, gentlemen," he declared, with great solem- 
nity and convincing emphasis, "these humble negroes are not 
on trial; you are on trial. Our civilization is on trial. And 
this is the issue, c Can you escape from under the shadow of 
a great name?' Yes, Your Honor, General Ransom is a ter- 
ror, but a terror to the weak." 

No longer was Burton the reflective student, he had be- 
come a flaming evangel, smiting and sparing not* Then on 
he went, "And when Captain Day, in his speech to you, de- 
nounced my poor clientshumble men and of a race inferior 
to his when he called them rascals and firebugs, he knew he 
was exceeding his privilege. But, sirs, Captain Day knows 
whom to insult and when!" Day could sit still no longer. 
Rising to his full height, and with great indignation, he ex- 
claimed, "You seem to espouse the cause of these negroes, 
sir!" 

"I do, Captain Day, and I can always be found, sk." 

As Burton quietly tapped himself on the chest, and Day 
rushed forward to attack, my efficient red-headed sheriff, 
Stancill, sprang forward and separated the angry men. 

My noon meal at the old hotel in Jackson was a melancholy 
one. As usual my seat was at the head of the table. On my 
right sat General Ransom, angry and mortified. On my left, 
Bob Burton, his face as hard as flint. Not a word was spoken. 
As soon as possible I left and went to my chambers. Pres- 
ently the jury came in with a verdict of guilty. 

What then was the court to do, set the verdict aside, and 



212 "THE CROWD'S HUNG THAT NIGGER" 

release the prisoners, to be lynched before they could get out 
of town? In this dilemma, I called together the attorneys 
on both sides and suggested a solution. The prisoners should 
be discharged without being fined or punished, but they must 
leave the county and, in the interest of good order, never 
return. This course was adopted and was satisfactory to 
both sides. I will add that, as always happens with the gen- 
erous legal profession, the lawyers soon made up, and Ransom 
and Day and Burton became friends, as they had been since 
childhood. 

If it should be insisted that the release of these prisoners 
might not have ended in a lynching, I must reply that such 
result did actually happen, a few months later, under similar 
conditions. On the South Carolina border a negro was tried 
before me for raping a white woman. A white jury acquitted 
their verdict arrived at, as I thought, because the woman 
bore a shady reputation and, as witness, had climaxed her tale 
of woe with the heart-rending statement, "And hit a-rainin', 
too!" In other words the jury agreed with the prisoner's 
lawyers that the affair was not a rape but a rapee! After 
the verdict the Judge turned to the Solicitor and asked, 

"Have you anything further against this man?" 

"No, Your Honor. No other charge." 

"Let the prisoner be discharged." 

At this time the courtroom was well filled two hundred 
men present to act as jurors in other cases and hardly had 
the prisoner reached the courtyard before the crowd put out 
after him. The courtroom was deserted, and the Judge on 
the bench chagrined and mortified. He could visualize the 
corpse of the acquitted negro dangling from a limb, under his 
very nose, and in plain view of the temple of justice. In 
anger, but with studied restraint, he called to the clerk and 
directed him to furnish a list of the jurors to the court crier. 
"Go to, the window, Mr. Crier," was the stern order, "and 



*THE CROWD'S HUNG THAT NIGGER" 213 

call out those jurors. Mr. Clerk, eater a fine of a hundred 
dollars against each and every one of them." 

In a short while the news got out that amounting to 
thousands of dollars were being entered and the alarmed 
jurors scampered back. Meanwhile the negro had got away 
and gone out to his old haunts, in the neighborhood of 
the alleged crime, just over the border and within the state 
of South Carolina. But this is only half the story. 

That afternoon Mike Justice, a greatly beloved lawyer, 
and I rode up to the top of Tryon Mountain, and spent the 
night at beautiful Skyuka Inn, on the very summit far, far 
above the clouds. It was late summer and quite warm for 
the season. Early next morning, and some time before day- 
break, a thunderstorm burst just below our little hotel, pre- 
senting a glorious spectacle. Great billowy clouds up-side- 
down, everywhere one vast expanse of water, the whole cre- 
ating the sensation of a storm at sea, but without the tossing 
and rolling. 

As the rain had begun to fall before seven it ceased before 
eleven, and Mike and I began the descent. The sun had 
come out, the air was clear and crisp. Nature was as calm 
as if ashamed of its ungovernable rage of a few hours before. 
About half way down the mountain we met a vehicle, and 
Justice reined in our team. 

"Good morning, my friend," said he, addressing the stran- 
ger. 

"Good morning, sir." 

"Any news?" 

"Nor, nothin' worth relating Only the crowd hung that 
nigger last night." 

As soon as I reached the courthouse, I was relieved to hear 
that the lynching had taken place over in South Carolina, 
outside my jurisdiction. 

As regards the Negro in court, my long experience as law- 
yer and judge enables me to speak with some degree of 



214 "THE CROWD'S HUNG THAT NIGGER" 

authority, I trust. Do negroes get justice? My answer is in 
the affirmative. Except where racial conflict arises, I con- 
clude that a negro of fair character, and with the respect of 
white neighbors, is likely to be given better treatment than if 
he were a white man. The principle of noblesse oblige 
obtains. 

I recall one ugly little case, which I defended while at the 
bar. A smiling, open-faced, black man was charged with 
larceny and seemed headed for the penitentiary. But I man- 
aged to rescue him. I stirred up the affections of the jury 
for the old-fashioned darkey. Having called a white man- 
once a playmate of the prisoner to the stand, I arranged it 
so that he would tell of their hunting and fishing and roaming 
the woods together when boys, away back in the sticks. 

"Gentlemen of the jury," I said, "you know the kind of 
a colored man this is. When boys, how many a time have 
you and I gone fishing and hunting and bird-egging with just 
such a fellow shining the light in the 'possum's eye up the 
tallest gum, eating black haws and muscadines, stealing water- 
melons along the way, and chasing the flying squirrel as he 
soared from tree-top to tree-top!" 

My flying-squirrel speech did the work, and saved the day. 

Down in Greene County when I was a judge, I tried a 
negro for stealing a set of harness. The prosecutor was the 
landlord, and swore he saw the prisoner steal the goods. The 
prisoner's lawyer, Captain Swift Galloway, a one-legged Con- 
federate soldier, of terrible mien and a voice that roared like 
the bull of Bashan, offered no evidence. He contented him- 
self with the cross-examination. He brought it out of the 
prosecutor that he was indebted to the defendant and had 
had trouble with other tenants. Also that the articles were 
of little value. On this state of facts the Captain put his 
case to the jury. 

With a look of scorn and contempt for the prosecutor he 
turned on him and said that his client bore a good character, 



"THE CROWD'S HUNG THAT NIGGER" 215 

"Something you, sir, do not possess." He declared there 
was a motive for the prosecution; the prosecutor was endeav- 
oring to pay his debt to the prisoner by a lawsuit. "We are 
a superior race/ 5 he exclaimed, his deep voice rising to a 
tenor. "Therefore, hear me, you proud Anglo-Saxons in 
that jury box. Whensoever a white man imposes on his de- 
fenseless black brother, he becomes an object beneath con- 
tempt. Such a creature, it were base flattery to call coward*" 

The jury promptly acquitted and the prosecutor was 
mulcted with a heavy bill of costs. Nor was this case excep- 
tional; I have known dozens of like kind, with Eke results. 

During my official life, politics were raging. The Farmers* 
Alliance, a powerful organization, had been strengthened by 
the addition of numerous Democratic spellbinders and some 
industrialists. One of the new recruits was a jovial manu- 
facturer, scion of an old Whig family, Frank Mebane, 
founder of a dozen woolen and cotton mills at the point 
where the Smith and Dan Rivers unite, and a fine water-power 
had been developed. 

"Mebane," said I once, when visiting at his venerable brick 
mansion, "Mebane, in the name of common sense, why did 
you join the Republicans?" 

"Why, Judge, that's easy. Since Cleveland's second term, 
business is so dull you can't swap horses, either giving ox 
taking boot!" 

At the by-election in '94, the state was swept by the Re- 
publicans and Populists. This combination, having coquetted 
with the negroes, carried several congressional districts and 
a majority of the legislature and the judiciary. 

Courts held me so closely that I was unable to be present 
at the consecration of my wife's brother, Bishop of the West- 
ern District of North Carolina. But I did manage to attend 
the inauguration of Brother George as President of the Uni- 
versity. The new president was the fifth to fill this responsi- 
ble position. Commenting on the event, Battle's History 



216 4i THE CROWD'S HUNG THAT NIGGER" 

declares that when a vacancy occurred, all eyes turned to 
George T. Winston. No other name was considered and 
he was unanimously elected. 

The induction ceremonies were simple and dignified. 
Many universities and colleges sent representatives, and 
officials holding high place in state and nation gathered on the 
Hill* Walter Page came down from the North and made 
the inaugural address. 

"Swear that the day of compromise is done," Page warned, 
addressing the new president and the vast assemblage. "For- 
get the past, live in the present. Overcome prejudice. Strive 
mightily till every boy and girl shall be given an education. 
Rebuild your old commonwealth, sir. Remove from her 
throat the clutch of hands long dead and gone." 

After riding the eastern section I moved west, up amongst 
the lofty mountains. A land inhabited not by negroes but 
by whites, a new and more prosperous land than I had ever 
known before. Down east I had been familiar with a broad 
expanse of fertile fields, lazy lagoons a land where gentle 
planters depended on Negro labor. Up west I witnessed 
new sceneswhite men and women proud to labor with their 
hands. Cloud-capped mountains, rushing streams. The 
beach at Nag's Head had seemed to me the grandest of spec- 
taclessometimes a mighty wave dashing across the sand 
dunes all the way from the Atlantic to the Albemarle Sound. 
But just as inspiring were Pisgah and Mitchell and Qingman's 
lofty dome. 

Two voices are there, one is of the sea, 

One, of the mountains each a mighty voice. 

Early in May I spent the night at Linville, having traveled 
by carriage along the Yanalosse Turnpike. Next morning 
at breakfast, our landlord served mountain trout, which my 
Solicitor had taken from the river. And then I drove to my 
next court at Bakersville; along die way, gorges lovely with 



"THE CROWD'S HUNG THAT NIGGER" 217 

to me vest- 
ments of the Toe River, my As 
1 the county the air was the 
of the apple. My the 

My heart up when I 
A rainbow in the sky. 

But there were many drawbacks to a circuit Judge's life. 
The hotels were sometimes poor; food was greasy, beds dirty. 
The lonesomeoess was often unbearable. 

"Judge Shipp," said I, one morning, to that grand old 
jurist, "what is one to do when he leaves the railroad at 
Marion and strikes out fifty miles through the wilderness, 
lonesome and alone, before getting back to civilization?* 5 ' 

"Why, get drunk!" was the solemn reply. 

Indeed, so execrable was one boarding-house in a moun- 
tain countyPhillips' as I recall that it became a synonym 
for the disquieting of one in body and soul 

"Six months in jail," said Judge GilEam, sentencing a coa- 
victed wife-beater, "and but for the constitutional prohibi- 
tion against cruel and unusual punishment, I'd give yon six 
months at Phillips' boarding-house!" 

Colonel R. E. Lee, of the United States army, has recorded 
that but for the comradeship of brother officers he would 
have quit the service entirely. So it was with me; fellowship 
with brethren of the bar held me on. Some of the counties 
were blessed with good hotels and there the lawyers would 
gather and pass the long, wintry nights with cards and in 
social intercourse. 

In the *9o's, three new Supreme Court justices were chosen, 
leaving two Democrats. And no court was ever more cos- 
mopolitan. As a wag put it, there were two Republicans, 
two Democrats, and Walter Clark! dark was a tough- 
minded judge. He accepted a nomination from Republicans, 
Populists, and negroes while an active Democrat. Soon he 



218 "THE CROWD'S HUNG THAT NIGGER" 

was co-operating with a Republican Governor, devising a 
scheme to annul the lease of the North Carolina Railroad- 
marking his communications "confidential" and knowing that 
the lease would have to be passed upon by his own court, 
dark and Daniels, thoroughly socialistic and populistic, be- 
longed to that school which holds that the end justifies the 
means. 

Yet, it must be admitted that the short-lived Populist party 
accomplished much good* They reduced interest from eight 
to six per cent, selected a capable state Superintendent of 
Public Instruction, appropriated funds to strengthen the 
school system, created numerous school districts, in which 
they directed that annual election should be held to raise 
funds to supplement the general appropriation. Above all, 
the Populists caused cold shivers to run down the spinal col- 
umn of the effete, self-satisfied Democracy! 

In this upheaval I was not only silent but detached. My 
conception of a judge's duty was that he should be non- 
partisan. I made no speeches, attended no political gather- 
ings. In Robeson County Senator Ransom spoke, and though 
I yielded the courthouse, I remained away. I did not hear the 
Senator's great speech, which occupied two hours. Some 
of the judges pursued an opposite course. They attended 
political meetings, applauded the thrusts and jibes at their 
opponents, and sometimes rendered partisan decisions. 

Be it said to the credit of Americans, however, that no 
partisan judge, who fawns upon the people and flatters them 
in their errors, has ever retained their esteem. Macaulay 
illustrates this idea of subserviency by a fairy tale. A lovely 
woman would sometimes be transformed into a loathsome 
reptile but after a season would come to herself again. Then, 
woe betide the sycophants who had flattered her deformity! 

During five years on the bench I held court from the sea 
to the mountains and many notable lawyers came before me: 
Governor Aycock, the coming man of the South; Senator 



THAT 219 

a of the 

Though not a of or 

views, he a intellect, a 

of had and no 

of oratory. Had he the 

of Claude Kitchln and a he 

rivaled Clay Douglas as a leader. 

The Kitchin brothers, each a congressman, 
brilliant fellows who shpt athwart the political sky 
meteors. In debate they were unrivaled, but so fond 

of a fight that both wore themselves out and died in 
life. The distinction is Claude Kitchiifs that he voted 
spoke against America's participation in the World War, 
though he was then Chairman of the Ways and Means Com- 
mittee of the House. 

The most distinguished personage that honored my court 
was George Davis, a scholar, a great gentleman. The only 
man among us who has declined the office of Chief Justice 
of the Supreme Court. Mr. Davis was, at one time, Attorney- 
General of the Confederate States. 

American state courts have been much criticised, Bryce, 
in his American Commonwealth, placing them below the fed- 
eral court. I am not sure that this English scholar was ac- 
quainted with the state judges of the South. Indeed, at a 
luncheon in Raleigh I once asked him if he had investigated 
this matter. He listened with interest and agreed to make 
the correction in another edition of his useful work. In my 
opinion Southern Federal judges were not superior to state 
judges. In fact as a whole they were not in the class with 
state judges. 

And yet our judges were far from perfect. Continuances 
and delays were a scandal. So anxious were some of the 
judges to get away that they merely skimmed over the 
docket. Others failed to open court on the appointed Mon- 
day; not until Wednesday would they arrive, to find a de- 



220 4i THE CROWD'S HUNG THAT NIGGER" 

moralized situation: jurors, litigants, and witnesses standing 
around, worn out and disgusted, while thousands of dollars in 
costs were piling up against the county. 

Our judicial system needed a thorough overhauling. It 
lacked co-ordination. Once I attempted to cure this defect. 
I drew a remedial bill which was introduced in the legisla- 
ture. The measure provided that the Governor should ap- 
point a judicial secretary, whose business it would be to 
supervise the courts. He would get reports from the county 
clerks, tabulate and give them to the public. These reports 
would show how many weeks each judge had sat, how many 
cases tried, and how many continued. In a word the measure 
would have vitalized the courts and made them efficient, my 
Idea being to have an audit made and to break up excessive 
judicial courtesy. 

This effort of mine had a ridiculous ending. Soon after 
the bill was made public, lawyers and judges protested and 
begged me to desist. My boyhood chum, Judge Bill Bond, 
simply threw up his hands. "For God's sake, Winston, call 
off your dogs!" he said. One day Armistead Jones, more 
of a conservative than myself, met me. 

"Well, Judge," he sighed, "I see you're going to put all 
of us lawyers in jail!" 

"Come now, Armistead," I replied, "if you feel that way 
about it, 111 withdraw the whole thing." And I did, and 
delays and continuances continued to flourish! 

Now these defects were due, I conclude, to two causes, 
a judge's desire to hasten through, and to judicial courtesy. 
I have known a judge continue a case to enable a brother 
lawyer to get off to the Springs or to collect his fees! 
Therefore I am moved to say that the system of electing 
judges by the people is wrong. Legislatures should elect 
judges. A political judge is a nuisance, his aim often being to 
placate lawyers who have elevated him. Nor is an elective 
judge more liberal than an appointed one. An incompetent 



"THE CROWD'S HUNG THAT NIGGER" 221 

is by a 

of an has 

in a district primary. 

I of the sea coast and the but 

of the foothills the Piedmont section. Yet 
gently rolling land, with its climate, not too hot in 

summer, not too cold in winter, is ideal. In the Piedmont 
the soil is adapted to grain and and fruit. Poultry 

and livestock flourish, the streams are clear and rapid-flowing 
the whole constituting a happy combination of 
and industry. 

When I held court in Winston-Salem I was captivated, 
Within sight of the town is the Pilot Mountain. Winston is 
the market place of a dozen prosperous counties. My home 
was at Mrs. Jones* boarding-house, the ideal tavern. Baskets 
of soft, clearstone peaches on my desk. Fresh figs; all the 
vegetables known to the temperate zone; lamb fattened on 
the bluegrass of the foothills; turkeys and chickens, coop- 
cleansed: these delicacies were ours, 

The surroundings of our little Inn were neat and very 
simple. There was not a chair in the dining room two 
benches only, one on one side the table and one on the 
other. We all rose and fell together! To me was assigned 
the seat of honor at the end of a bench. By my side sat 
Dick Reynolds "R. J. R." a tall, gawky, loutish young coun- 
tryman, just in from the wilds of Patrick County, Virginia, 
soon to be founder of the Reynolds Tobacco Company, and 
one of the wealthy men of the world. Just across was Cy 
Watson, the very greatest trial lawyer that ever twisted a 
witness or befuddled a jury. 

One Sunday in July, at the Moravian Church, I witnessed 
a celebration of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. There 
was good singing, a wholesome discourse, and a worship-pro- 
voking liturgy. The services over, scores of handsome 
women, Roman matrons, came down the aisles. Bare-armed, 



222 "THE CROWD'S HUNG THAT NIGGER" 

in simple frocks and attractive white aprons, they were dis- 
pensing savory coffee and buns, not made with hands alone, 
but with the heart. This occasion was not a sacrament, it 
was an old-fashioned love feast. 

Little wonder I determined to quit the ardoons judgeship 
and remove to Winston-Salem. In truth at that moment 
Cam Buxton and I were discussing a partnership. But again 
my plans were changed. Will Fuller wired, requesting me to 
come to Durham. He was getting ready to move to New 
York, as adviser to the American Tobacco Company. 
"Would I be willing to resign from the bench and become 
the head of his old firm?" After some reflection I accepted. 

But ray little family gave up our home with many wrench- 
ings of the heart. In Oxford I had married. There my four 
children had been born, and there friends without number 
had cheered me and honored me beyond my deserts. But for 
Lucy Locket, our faithful servant, and my wife's brave- 
spirited sister Julia, I doubt if we would have had the courage 
to tear ourselves away. Lucy packed us up, took our baby 
in her arms and went along to share our new life. Julia set 
us down to her table, served a farewell lunch, soothed us 
with scuppernong wine, so heady that I fear it was spiked, 
and cheered us with prattle-talk till the train was whistling 
for the station. 



XVII! 
GAUDIUM 

DURHAM, our new home, was not a city It 

that spirit of co-operation and enterprise which 
success. Nor were its people burdened with Civil War 
bitterness or other retarding influences. Brother George, 
who was quite a hand to generalize and draw conclusions, 
would often dwell upon Durham's strong points. Coming 
over from Chapel Hill, twelve miles away, he would point 
out that the city was co-operative and unconventional, really 
a western place, sucking the very life-blood from the slow, 
old-fashioned towns near by. There were more smokestacks 
In Durham than in any city of its size in the country. The 
wealthy people were nearly all engaged in industry and were 
therefore national Republicans, 

And Brother was quite correct. The air resounded with 
the whirr of machinery and the whistle of factories, the 
Bull Durham, the Erwin Cotton Mill, W. Duke Sons, and 
others. At that time, as must be admitted, Durham's indus- 
trial enterprises far surpassed her esthetic equipment. It was 
several years before we Durhamites turned our attention to 
the finer things of life. But when we did get down to cul- 
ture, as a Chicago girl once observed, "We made her hum!" 

In a few years Durham could boast of an excellent public 
library; a school system for both races; two universities, one 
for whites, the other for blacks; three hospitals, one for the 
colored people; and public necessities such as water, lights 
and streets, not excelled in the entire state. 

Frequently city and county went Republican, electing 
strong men to the legislature and to the county offices. The 

223 



224 GAUD1UM CBRTAMINIS 

difference between the rank and file of the two political 
parties may be exemplified by aa episode in which old maa 
Washington Duke, the fanner turned manufacturer, and Sam 
Strayhom, a tenant sticking to politics, played parts. 

"Oh, yes, Uncle Wash," yelled the hilarious Sam, from his 
shackly wagon, loaded with a cord of wood which he was 
offering at $2.75, "oh, yes, we've beat you, Uncle Wash, 
we've elected our man Cleveland." 

"So you have, Sam," was the sad reply. "And four years 
from now you'll be still hauling wood to town at $2.75 a 
cord." 

I saw a good deal of Washington Duke, a man of massive 
proportions of body and spirit, and the father of James 
Buchanan Duke, perhaps the greatest Southern industrialist. 
This old father was the inspiration of the Duke family. His 
industry, his rugged honesty, his common sense, his unfailing 
success, and, above all, his childlike faith in God, these 
rare gifts set him apart and made him an exemplar. I once 
heard Buck Duke declare that whatever he had been able to 
accomplish in life was due to his father and the old Methodist 
circuit rider. And old Uncle Wash, on his part, once said 
there were two things he could never understand how the 
world got to be round and his son Buck! 

Before the Duke family moved to town, their little coun- 
try home had been headquarters for the itinerant Methodist 
preacher, at whose arrival the neighbors would gather. This 
unique character would stimulate them by words and ex- 
ample. Though Washington Duke was a Republican in a 
Democratic community, the people so highly regarded him 
that they elected him a justice of the peace, in which capacity 
the Squire served for many years. 

About once every week the stout old gentleman, with 
shaven upper lip and short-cropped gray beard on his ample 
chin and face, wearing a stiff hat, about such as Oliver Crom- 
well would have worn, and dressed in a plain, untailored, 




WASHINGTON DUKE 



JAMES B. DUKE 




H. C. BRANSON SEAMAN KNAPP 

EMPIRE BUILDERS-I 



225 

enter my and at 

tell of Ms young and of the of the old 
who had on the Civil War. 

With he had the Confeder- 

acy, entering the service. His son, a lad 

of eighteen, and the "'Benjamin' 1 of the old 
as a guard at the Salisbury prison, and, at the of the 

superintendent for cruelty, was one of the 
Phillips, Solicitor General under Grant, was Duke's of a 
statesman. Speaking of events leading up to the war, he 
said to me that the greatest speech he ever 
by Phillips in the Methodist Church, just a few weeks before 
the first gun was fired at Sumter. "Abide in the ship! 
Abide in the ship! was the substance of Phillips* speech," 
said Duke. "And what a pity we did not take his advice." 

One afternoon Mr. Duke appeared in my office and 
I had worked long enough, I must come and go with him to 
hear some sweet music. Gladly 1 laid aside my work and 
went with the aged man. Presently his carriage stopped at 
the home of a lovely woman, with a soft, soul-stirring voice, 
and we entered. Then this gifted musician sat at the piano 
and sang a little song, Mr. Duke's favorite. The twilight 
was gathering. And as the notes floated through the room 
the kind-hearted old millionaire wiped away fast-faffing tears. 
The song was the old favorite, "Mrs. Lofty Keeps a Car- 
riage." Why has Mrs. Lofty been overlooked by song col- 
lectors? 

Mrs. Lofty keeps a carriage, 

So do L 

She has dapple grays to draw it, 

None have I. 

She's no prouder with her coachman, 

Than am I, with my blue-eyed, laughing baby trundling by; 

I hide his face lest she should see the cherub boy, 

And envy me. 



226 GAUD1UM CERTAMINIS 

Many a time I have partaken of the Duke hospitality, on 
one occasion listening to William Garrott Brown read a 
thesis on the folly of slavery and Chief Justice Taney*s futile 
attempt, in the Dred Scott case, to compromise a great moral 
principle. U A Foe to Compromise/' Brown called this 
masterpiece. At another time I spent the day at the Duke 
home in company with Justice Brewer, of the Supreme Court, 
then attending Trinity commencement and delivering the ora- 
tion. In no uncertain tones the Justice declared that the 
masses were too ignorant to vote upon complicated matters, 
such as finance. 

At the luncheon Brewer, who was a fine raconteur, told 
many amusing stories, one being a new Lincoln anecdote. 
Out in Illinois, Lincoln was in the habit of riding the circuit 
with the judges and half a dozen lawyers, all mounted on 
horseback. Once upon a time, as this cavalcade, headed by a 
new judge, approached one of those wide, muddy, dangerous- 
looking western riversfully two hundred yards wide but 
not twelve inches deep Lincoln winked at his brother law- 
yers and said, "Well, Judge, here's the river, and there are 
two ways of fording it. You may either sit bolt upright, 
in your clothes, and take the water as it comes, or else you 
can strip and lash your clothes behind your back." 

"Then, of course I shall strip," responded the Judge, who 
was soon in a state of nature, with a huge pack of clothes 
lashed above his shoulders. 

In they plunged, the Judge naked as he came into the world, 
Lincoln and the lawyers, all carefully and slowly feeling their 
way through water so shallow that it scarcely covered the 
fetlocks of the horses! 

Though I was intimate with the wealthy people of Durham, 
I was in no sense a pet. So much of their money as I got I 
worked for. Moreover, as they were regular clients, my fees 
were reasonable. Instead of putting the few thousand dol- 
lars which I took with me to Durham in real-estate, had I 



227 

In the of W. & 

I be my 

in of 1 did not to be a 

My ran In In 

I had many many, I 

First of all, 1 would be a lawyer and a 

rearing a family worthy of their name. Moreover, 1 
the author, whose pen is mightier the sword, I 

dreamed of a hospitable home, a kind of French 
interesting people would gather. Needless to 
all true Southerners, I expected some day to Gover- 

nor, United States Senator, and, probably, President! 

How foolish was all this! Why could 1 not understand 
that I was working at cross-purposes, each objective destroy- 
ing the other. Sorely, no one can be both orator and writer 
they are built on different lasts. Nor can any man be an 
esthete and a politician at the same time. He cannot run a 
salon, entertain the intellectuals and defend trusts and cor- 
porations, while playing a game of politics. These pathways 
are divergent. And yet the game was a diverting one, there 
was not a dull moment. Soon, I was President of the 
Chamber of Commerce, assisted in organizing the public 
library, co-operated in building tobacco warehouses, took 
the stump for good roads, became President of the State 
Historical Society, served on Democratic committees, all the 
while educating four children and working ten hours a day 
at the law. 

"How on earth do you find time to do so much?" asked 
my friend, that noble young judge, Howard Foushee, who 
died ere his prime. 

"Gaudwm certamms? I replied. "The joy of the sport!" 

Though Durham was a live town my first years were lean 
ones. Several failures had just occurred. The Cleveland 
panic was on, and so was the fight between the Silverites and 
the Goldbugs. Business was at a standstill, farm products 



228 GAUDIUM CERTAMINIS 

almost valueless. On the auction block, I saw first-class 
mules selling at five dollars a head and well-fed, twenty- 
pound turkeys going at twenty-five cents apiece. Tobacco 
scarcely paid the selling charges. The farmers were not 
only poor but mad. When Cleveland championed the gold 
standard and vetoed a bill to coin the surplus silver in the 
treasury, the Populist newspapers and Josephus Daniels' Old 
Reliable raged and thundered. 

A citizen of Person County, usually law-abiding, became 
so excited that he set about organizing a squad to go to 
Washington and assassinate the tyrannical President! Law 
business was in the same fix. In 1896, during the first Bryan 
campaign, there really was no law business. Money had dis- 
appeared. At this time I, too, being poor and mad, was a 
Bryanite. Side by side with Josephus Daniels I stood, cheer- 
ing the Peerless Leader, and anxious to co-operate with any 
organization to overthrow McKinley and Mark Hanna and 
the Goldbugs. 

When Bryan visited Durham, in his campaign for President, 
he was my guest, arriving at three in the afternoon, and ask- 
ing for an immediate hot bath, as he was booked to speak in 
a few minutes. Now, at this hour our kitchen fire was out 
and the hot-water boiler, attached to the stove in the old- 
fashioned way, was as cold as a wedge! What were we to 
do? Our faithful neighbors came to our aid. With a kettle 
of hot water swinging between them, Captain Ed Parish and 
Caleb Green staggered across the street the Captain in tall 
hat and long coat and Caleb the last word in dignity! And 
so Bryan got his hot bath! 

Presently, the popular orator and idol came down into our 
library as thousands, standing in the yard, cheered and ap- 
plaudedand took my little curly-headed boy on his knee 
and spoke words of praise. But even that early in Bryan's 
career I thought I discovered a weakness; he could not co- 
operate and do team work. Coming down on the train I 



229 

this defect. Though 
him, to and the he 

and took one of no 

quence, and with exclusively* He 

mined to convince doubting Thomas 16 to i was 
the only remedy for ills! Bryan of 

course, and McKinley elected. Forthwith the country 
its hysteria, settled down to business* and my experi- 

ence as a lawyer began. 

My junior partner, Frank Fuller, was not only a coun- 
selor and a man of ripe judgment but a general favorite. 
When John Mesley, who opposed Fuller in politics and 
trained in a different school, passed away and his will was 
opened, it was discovered that he had appointed F. L. Fuller 
executor to settle his estate. Frank looked after the corporate 
end of our business. He was the confidential advisor of the 
Dukes and did most of the office work. It fell to my lot to 
try jury cases, to mix with the people and to argue appeals 
in the highest courts of state and nation. Frequently, my 
duties took me before the Supreme Court at Washington and 
the Circuit Court of Appeals at Richmond. On one occasion 
I engaged in a legal contest with Marshall of the firm of 
Guggenheimer, Untermyer & Marshall, and on another, with 
De Lancey Nicoll. Our practice in the Supreme Court at 
Raleigh was very extensive, occupying me a week in the 
fall and again in the spring. 

Nor was local business less restricted. In truth the new 
firm was so fully occupied that the pubHc suspected us of 
being wealthy and charging unreasonable or, as the country 
people said, ongodly fees! But both surmises were errone- 
ouswe were neither rich nor high chargers. And yet a 
story went the rounds that seemed to imply that we were 
sizing everyone's pile. 

A merchant named Max, a fun-loving fellow, a German 
Jew, having had a fire employed our firm to recover the 



230 GAUDIUM CERTAMINIS 

which he placed at thirteen thousand dollars. There- 
upon the insurance company proceeded to choose one arbi- 
trator, as the policy directed, and we, another. After much 
discussion these two agreed on the third. Now, in selecting 
this third arbitrator, our side had beaten the insurance com- 
pany to it, and he and our arbitrator soon agreed and awarded 
Max the full amount claimed, to wit, thirteen thousand dol- 
lars. This sum they paid me in ten-dollar billsthirteen hun- 
dred of themmaking, as may be imagined, a goodly pile of 
money. So far, so good. But just here the story begins. 

"Well, Max, I've got your money, come up!' Judge 
Winston phoned." So ran the story. In a jiffy Max showed 

B P' 

"Yes, Mr. Max, here it is, thirteen thousand dollars, and 

good money too. And there's your half and here's mine," 
dividing into two equal parts the enormous pile of bills and 
shoving one-half to the astonished Hebrew. 

"Why, that's all right, isn't it, Mr. Max? You get one-half 
and I get the other." 

"Yes, Joodge, it's aU reightbut I vas joost thinking, 
Joodge, whose fire vas dot, yours or mine?" 

Now, really, it seems a pity to mar so good a yarn, but 
truth requires me to say that the fee was not $6,500 at all; 
it was only $1,000, divided between our firm and Manning & 
Foushee, lawyers of the highest repute. 

At first this ridiculous story annoyed me; I feared it would 
injure my business. But I was greatly mistaken. The dear 
people love a high-priced lawyer, and fight shy of the fellow 
with a poor mouth on the principle, no doubt, of greasing 
the fat sow! 

A repercussion of this Max story was heard as far away 
as the Pacific Coast, at a banquet of the American Bar. It 
seems that a member of tfie bar had drunk to the toast, 
"Lawyers and their fees the bigger the better," and had 
commended the well-known remark of Choate, the Gentile, 



231 

to Untcnnyer, the Jew, "Almost roc to be- 

a Christian," of our Court 

on to reply. "That Untermyer joke," 

"is in is very but we one In 

Carolina will it." The the 

yam to the merriment of his brethren. 

When 1 to practice in Durham the most 

"scandalized'* man was Reuben Barbee, son of a 
preacher, a jovial, queer sort of a chap, usually 
a kind husband, but when ioaded-up, a shock and a whirl- 
wind. On one occasion Reuben shot into a crowded rail- 
road coach, for the devilment of the thing, roared with 
laughter when the passengers started up. Several he 

cleaned up Scoggins' bar with his revolver. He greatly de- 
lighted to fire between the legs of innocent pedestrians and 
then Ha! Ha!, like a crazy man. 

Twice oor firm defended Reuben for murder, getting 
acquitted and charging a fee of fifteen hundred dollars for 
appearing before the mayor a big fee, no doubt, but worth 
every cent of It since the community frowned down on 
Reuben and any lawyer who defended him. No doubt tMs 
sizable fee was the occasion of an amusing incident 

My oldest son was soon to marry, and the bride-to-be was 
expected to visit us. Now, as she was a city girl and had 
been educated in Paris, I concluded that I would surprise her 
with an old-fashioned supper of 'possum and taters. Pretty 
soon I ran across a fine specimen of the genus lemur, which 
Reuben's cousin Marion was offering for sale and kindly 
consented to deliver at my home. That day at lunch roy wife 
met me at the door and was wearing a smile which would not 
come off. 

"Well," she said, with a merry twinkle, "that was some 
fellow you sent down with that old 'possum." 

"How so?" I rejoined. 

"Why, he came in all right and set the 'possum on the 



232 GAUDIUM CERTAMINIS 

floor. But I said, "No, sir, take It away, I don't want your 
old greasy 'possum,' and he said, 'But, ma'am, your husband 
has already bought the 'possum and paid me for it.' " 

"Bought that fat thing? And what did he pay you for it, 
sk?" 

"Seventy-five cents, ma'am." 

"Seventy-five cents for that ball of fat! And what's your 
name, sir?" 

"Marion Barbee, ma'am." 

"Barbee? Barbee? Are you a kin to Reuben Barbee?" 

"Oh, yes, ma'am, Reuben's my cousin." 

"Well, if that's so, you ought to give Mr. Winston that 
'possum for all he's done for your cousin Reuben." 

"Why, ma'am, they do say Reuben put your husband in 
this fine house!" 

All things considered, the most stupendous lawsuit I ever 
defended was that of Gattis against KUgo, Ben Duke, and 
Trinity College. Mr. Gattis, a Methodist, was demanding 
damages from his brother Methodists on the assumption that 
they, being wealthy bondholders, had ruthlessly slandered 
and defamed him, a poor, decrepit preacher of the gospel. 
These were the words upon which the suit was founded, 
"Behind a pious smile and a solemn switch of the coat-tail 
many a man has a spirit unworthy of him" words which sug- 
gest the famous case of Bardell versus Pickwick. "Chops 
and tomato sauce and don't forget the warming pan," wrote 
Pickwick to his landlady, the widow Bardell, innocently sug- 
gesting what he would like to have for dinner. 

It seems incredible that such innocuous language, spoken 
by Kilgo of Gattis a hostile witness when defending himself 
against a charge of malfeasance in office, should have engaged 
the attention of any court for five minutes. Yet Gattis and 
Kilgo occupied our judges for more than five years. Twice, 
damages of twenty-five thousand dollars were awarded. Four 
times the Supreme Court handed down opinions before the 



233 

by of 

In not by 

and the six 

they 
of and 

After years of of 

of Methodists into hostile when the 

speaking from the bench, said, "Gentlemen, you 
to show malice. This is at cost,** the 

scene that followed was such as few had 

witnessed. Bishops, clergymen, laymen in an 

of happiness. 

"Amen! Bless God!" came with unction from the 
crowded courtroom. Aged ministers, who, on their 
had prayed for this day, when the split In their church would 
be healed and the cause of religion advanced, rejoiced with a 
joy unspeakable. Duke, in an excess of emotion, rushed over 
and embraced me, declaring the speech 1 had just delivered 
exceeded anything ever uttered by Ms New York attorneys, 
by Elihu Root, or Joseph Choate, or John Johnson! 

The case of Gattis against Kilgo was more than a lawsuit, 
It was a political episode: an effort to use the conns to de- 
stroy new and progressive Trinity College and Kilgo, Its 
president; to utilize the ill-will of tobacco farmers to blast 
the reputation of the Duke family and eliminate them from 
public life. Trinity College had become the stronghold of 
liberalism in the South and the lion In the pathway of Bryan- 
ism, It must be restored to the old ordep, to Ckrk, to Gen- 
eral Carr and to Josephus Daniels. It must be wrenched from 
the hands of the Dukes and Kilgo and Few and Bassett and 
Mkns and Flowers. 

At this time, W. K. Boyd was a student at Trinity and 
keenly alive to the uphill fight it was waging. It seemed 
to Boyd and the students that the suit was not a personal 
affair but an effort to check the growth of a new institution 



234 GAUDIUM CERTAMINIS 

which threatened the prestige of the old order in education. 
Or, as Boyd has since said to me, in a spirit of fun, "Trinity- 
was foreordained by the Lord to redeem the state, but the 
Devil had broken loose!" 

And never was there a lawsuit fought with greater danger. 
The plaintiff was poor, the defendants rich, the masses were 
bitter. The Dukes and the tobacco trust were unpopular. 
The state administration was hostile. Ninety per cent of the 
judges would have forfeited their robes if necessary to win 
the case and preserve the Democratic party. Nor were the 
sinews of war lacking. Mr. Gattis had money aplenty and 
stalwart backers and the assurance of an easy victory. Gen- 
eral Carr was putting up the funds, Chief Justice Clark was 
furnishing the law. Honorable Josephus Daniels and the Old 
Reliable were thundering "from Currituck, where old ocean 
combs her disheveled locks, to Cherokee, where the moun- 
tains cast their shadows into Tennessee," sowing the seeds of 
trust-hatred, denouncing the tobacco habit as poisonous, char- 
acterizing the cigarette as a "coffin tack," filling column after 
column with attacks upon the Dukes and charges of Kilgo's 
sycophancy to them, and ridiculing the attorneys for the 
defense. 

The case was finally won because of the heroism of two 
men, Henry G. Connor and George H. Brown. These judges 
saved the state the disgrace of lending itself to a piece of 
silly, vindictive litigation. When the Judge dismissed the 
suit and the plaintiff appealed, it was heard in the Supreme 
Court by only four justices. Clark, being a party, did not sit. 
A tie votetwo-twotherefore affirmed the judgment of 
the lower court and dismissed the action forever. 

Had this bitter litigation gone against the Dukes, I am sure 
from numerous interviews I had with them, they would not 
have given another penny to education or charity in the 
Carolinas. There would have been no Duke University, no 
gifts of millions of dollars to hospitals, no pensions for anti- 




DUKE UNIVERSITY 




HENRY G. CONNOR 



GEORGE H. BROWN 



AND THE JUDGES WHO SAVED TRINITY COLLEGE, FROM 
WHICH IT DEVELOPED 



235 

no no 

to the of the 

An on this be 

a the 

After to In oa 

Trinity, the Duke to the 

Democratic party the University, Clark wrote, 

Geo. T. Winston, Sir: 

W. C 

This cryptic and characteristic note by a 

witticism of Winston's, when Trinity had the 

other denominations and attacked the University, It 

a godless institution, and at the same time 
virtues. Trinity, Indeed, had Inscribed, on Its 
archway these words, "Ejruditio et Religio." Now, 
to this motto, Winston had ridiculed the Idea that all the 
virtues resided at Trinity and called attention to the fact 
the foundation of Trinity was the tobacco industry. a la 
truth," he laughed, "Trinity College has omitted the chief 
word from Its motto, which should read, 'Eraditio et Religio 
et Tobacco!'" 

Needless to add, President Winston did not accept Judge 
dark's invitation to attack Trinity. 

Nor was this the only time politics were Injected Into our 
courts. Nor the only time Connor threw himself into the 
breach and risked his political life to preserve fair dealing and 
justice. In 1898, when the state went Democratic again, four 
holdover Supreme Court Republican judges remained on the 
bench, a menace to Democratic legislation. It was, therefore, 
decided by the leaders, co-operating with the Old Reliable, to 
ditch the Republican judges, Including Falrcloth, Chief Jus- 
tice, and fill his place with Walter Clark. In this unsavory 

1 Sketches of Brown and Connor were prepared by me for the Supreme 
Court and may be found in many libraries. 



236 GAUDIUM CERTAMINIS 

business, Connor, a member of the House, refused to take 
part. Realizing the animus of the proceedings, he organized 
Conservatives and Republicans and defeated the partisan meas- 
ure. Full well Connor knew that the judges were not crimi- 
nals. They had ordered the Treasurer to pay the salaries of 
certain officers, adjudged by the court to be legally serving 
their terms. This, Connor felt was not a crime, although the 
legislature had endeavored to forbid such payment. 

In this heated contest, I also took some part. I was served 
with a subpoena to attend as a witness for the impeached 
judges. In connection with two other attorneys, I would 
testify, as an expert, that the judges had acted within their 
rights and were not guilty of any crime. The end of the im- 
peachment trial was that the judges were acquitted. 

An unexpected result ensued. Connor was promoted to 
the Supreme Court, and shortly thereafter President Taft ap- 
pointed him a United States judge. Long and Cooke and 
Osborn, attorneys for the judges, were also soon honored by 
the people. Surely, the end does not always justify the means 
at least, not in the good old Tar Heel State! In truth, a 
broader vision was developing a larger social consciousness. 
Southern leadership was about to pass to North Carolina- 
primacy in education, industry and liberality. Aycock was 
governor. The Southern Educational Board, directed by 
Page, Alderman, Mclver, Ckxton, Joyner, and Fries, needed 
but a free field to rebuild the old Commonwealth. That 
master agriculturist, Seaman A. Knapp, in co-operation with 
industrialists such as Tompkins and Duke and Cone and Gill 
Wylie, were useful adjuncts. 



CHAPTER XIX 
BEN AND LUCY 

IN the South only a few of the old families were willing to 
defy public sentiment, endure the slurs and cold shoulder of 
their neighbors and remain in the Republican party. Cer- 
tainly, my father's people did not belong in that tough- 
minded class. Though three of rny brothers tried the experi- 
ment, they soon beat a retreat. In Southern phrase, they 
could not stand the hot grease and got out of the kitchen! 
Shortly after Brother Pat became a Republican, as we have 
seen, he surrendered to the inevitable and moved to the Pacific 
Slope where he could think and act as he pleased. There he 
soon tired of law and office-holding, and published Winston* $ 
Weekly, filled with his philosophy of life and memories of 
the Old South and childhood days. 

Brother George was always an independent. In a quiet 
way he would espouse whatever cause appealed to him and 
contribute goodly sums from his meager means to advance it. 
Brother Frank continued a liberal Republican only a few 
years, in the late '8o's coming back into the Democratic fold 
and being gladly received by hislold friends. They killed the 
fatted calf, placed a ring on Brother's finger and put him in 
charge of the Red Shirt campaign to eliminate the ignorant 
Negro from politics. Very soon, the Democrats made him 
Lieutenant-Governor, U. S. Attorney, and Judge of the 
Superior Court. When Theodore Roosevelt, President of 
the United States, came through on a rollicking expedition, 
Brother, then Acting Governor, received the party and 
royally escorted them from city to city. 

In the political upheaval of which I have been speaking, 

237 



238 BEN AND LUCY 

I played a part. At a barbecue out in Brassfield, I addressed 
an immense crowd and declared we were going to carry the 
election in spite of hell and high water! That fall a consti- 
tutional amendment was adopted and, for ten years, ignorant 
negroes were disfranchised. At the end of that period a gen- 
tleman's agreement was made that the whites would furnish 
the negroes better schools, asylums and orphanages provided 
they kept away from the polls. This agreement, for forty 
years, was a success, after a fashion. Whereas when the ne- 
groes voted, disorder prevailed, when they were disfran- 
chised, peace ensued. Yet the price of peace had come high. 
It cost bloodshed and rioting the usual price of white su- 
premacy, whether in Ethiopia or Egypt, in South Africa or 
in the Southern states. 

Said Colonel Alfred Waddell, often a congressman, when 
addressing the Durham people, in the Red Shirt campaign, 
"How many negroes we killed, in my county, God only 
knows. But this we do know: we choked the Cape Fear with 
corpses" an observation not unlike that of Tacitus, when 
depicting the march of the conquering Romans, "They make 
solitude which they call peace." Yet even after the negroes 
were disfranchised portions of the state continued Repub- 
lican, and so confident were the whites of those sections of 
success that they organized the Lily White Party and chal- 
lenged the Democrats to meet them on some other issue than 
that of race. 

In my new home, however, these matters did not much 
concern me. I was not yet social-minded. My objective was 
the education of my children and the accumulation of a for- 
tune. Other ambitions could wait. Law became my absorp- 
tion, so deeply engrossing me that I would laugh and declare 
I did not even know the names of my own children! 

Now in Oxford my opponents had been elderly lawyers, 
living in the past; in Durham they were young men, with eyes 
feed on the future. And of all the attorneys the most up- 



BEN AND LUCY 239 

and~coming, as I thought, was a young fellow, alert, red- 
headed, and dangerous. His name was Victor Biyant, It 
was said of Thucydides, I believe, that the triumphs of his 
rival, Miltiades, kept him awake of nights* Certainly that 
was my relation to Biyant. I dreaded the young lawyer and 
shuddered as he swept jury after jury against my wealthy 
clients. 

Therefore when my partner, Fuller, was getting ready to 
move to New York and become counsel of the Tobacco 
Company, and our firm was dissolved, I turned my eyes to- 
ward Bryant. If I could not whip him I could combine with 
him competition being impossible where combination is pos- 
sible. And now a new phase of life opened up one less dis- 
quieting, less nerve-racking. Though my hours of labor 
were as long, I was more sheltered and less on the firing line. 
I ceased to be the spearhead. That post of danger was as- 
sumed by Bryant. 

As during nine years Fuller and I had practiced in thor- 
ough accord, so now the new firm functioned smoothly and 
well But with this difference, the old firm had enjoyed an 
extensive corporate business, the new did a more general 
practice. Bryant, a powerful speaker, a masterful summer-up, 
was in demand in hotly fought litigation. Indulging in no 
jokes, always in cry of the fox, plain, manly and argumenta- 
tive, he won verdicts which seemed impossible. Nor was my 
practice of less dignity than before. The new firm repre- 
sented the state in contested matters, sometimes appeared for 
insurance and casualty companies and often recovered heavy 
damages in personal injury suits. Though I was now attor- 
ney for the plain people, and not for the rich, I was no more 
ardent in my allegiance to progressive principles than for- 
merly. 

Perhaps the greatest benefit to me from associating with 
Bryant was observing a principle upon which he acted. 
"Trust the people," he would insist. "Turn on the light. 



240 BEN AND LUCY 

Suppress nothing. Cut out technicalities/' And I stood in 
need of that caution. During the years I had represented 
corporations, I naturally lost a number of cases and became 
gun-shy of juries. The case of Bones against the Machine 
Company will illustrate my meaning. The plaintiff sued for 
personal injuries and claimed he had been hurt while follow- 
ing the Company's rule putting on a small belt by reaching 
through a larger, revolving belt a rule which the plaintiff 
admitted he knew and understood. 

Now no such rule existed, nor could the belt have been 
put on in that way. This we could have shown by a number 
of witnesses. But I feared the Twelve and insisted that we 
accept the plaintiff's story and rest our case on the technical 
ground that the Company was not liable because it had the 
right to make its own rules and the plaintiff had assumed the 
risk. The trial judge overruled us, and the jury gave heavy 
damages. The judgment was affirmed on appeal. The Su- 
preme Court held that our Company could not shield itself 
behind an unreasonable and dangerous rule. Now if Bryant 
had been managing this case he would undoubtedly have 
turned on the light, overborne the plaintiff's testimony and 
carried the jury with him. 

Someone has spoken a kind word for the imperfect, since 
the best of life is in the striving. And though Durham was 
essentially imperfect she was beginning to strive, and was on 
the long pull for higher things. Each Friday evening, the 
Canterbury Club would meet just across the street from us. 
My wife and I greatly enjoyed these occasions. The Club 
was in no respect a social affair, but was stimulating and edu- 
cative. Its president was a college professor, sometimes Few, 
now President of Duke University; at other times Toms, later 
President of Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company; frequently 
Mims, now Professor at Vanderbilt University. 

Freedom from anxiety likewise enabled me to enjoy social 
life. Huckleberry Springs and the McCown Plantation were 



BEN AND LUCY 241 

famous as barbecue grounds. Frequently I enjoyed George 
Lougee's roast pig and Brunswick stew. Many of the Dur- 
hamltes had cabins on mountain tops near byon Occonee- 
chee and Scarlet and Arch, One cabin was owned by a 
golden-hearted gentleman, James Southgate, once nominated 
for Vice-President on the prohibition ticket. 

The kindliest of God's creatures, Jim was beloved by 
every drunkard in a hundred miles. They knew that though 
he hated drink he loved the drunkard. Oftentimes Brother 
George, and other guests, would go with me on a visit to 
Southgate's cabin, eight miles out, and on the very top of 
Arch Mountain. There, on a starry night, we would recline 
on the roof-garden, in the silence of the forest, amidst the 
stars. We could almost reach out and touch Orion and the 
Pleiades! 

Jim, a two-hundred-and-fifty-pounder and every ounce of 
him pure gold, and 1 had sat, side by side, in the classroom at 
Chapel Hill, when we were boys together. In truth we were 
two-of-a-kind. Therefore, no sooner had I landed in Dur- 
ham and bought Fuller's old-fashioned, rambling dwelling, 
placing a five-thousand-dollar mortgage on it for the balance 
due, than Jim came around to see how he could help me. 

"Marse Robert," he said in that rich, mellow voice that 
had charmed thousands, "Marse Robert, you need ten thou- 
sand dollars additional life insurance." 

"Of course I do, Jim, but where on earth is the money 
coming from?" 

"Why, just give me your slow note." 

"Well, Jim, that sounds more like it, but payable when?" 

"Oh, make it payable when the roses are in bloom!" 

And that was the Durham way. The Durham people were 
a broad, co-operative folk. They were all for Durham and 
nothing for self. 

Soon after I moved to Durham, Stanbury, teller in one of 
the banks, defaulted for a large sum, and his neighbors made 



242 BEN AND LUCY 

all of it good except fifteen thousand dollars. This balance 
lagged till a friend of the teller bethought himself of George 
Watts, a real humanitarian, at the moment traveling in the 
Holy Land. A cablegram to him brought a quick response, 
addressed to his bank in Durham. "Charge my account with 
fifteen thousand dollars for the use of Ed Stanbury." 

I had been a partner of Bryant's but a few years when he 
and my wife conspired to send me to England to witness the 
graduation of our oldest son, a Rhodes scholar at Oxford. 
At this time the Oxford pageant was on in Christ Church 
meadow* with hundreds of cultured actors, many of them 
professors, and their wives and daughters, and hosts of visi- 
tors. As Mark Twain entered the stadium and occupied the 
royal box, fifty thousand Englishmen lost their dignity, rising 
and cheering the queerest-looking great man they ever be- 
held, with long, drooping mustache, wide, cowboy hat, and 
a stride that mocked the proprieties. Mark and Osier and 
Ballington Booth had just been honored by the University 
and were now learned doctors of law. 

In London I stood, reluctantly uncovered, in the midst of 
a great throng, and beheld Edward VII come in state down 
the Queen's Highway to St. James's Palacethe King be- 
decked with badges and insignia and seated in a funny-look- 
ing, bedizened, rickety carriage which his ancestor of two 
centuries before must have used! By the King's trap rode 
George, Prince of Wales, and a great number of attendants- 
all this pomp and parade suggestive of the Middle Ages and 
provoking a derisive smile on my American countenance. 
But should it have had this effect? 

Those sturdy, beef-eating Britishers were not humbling 
themselves before a man, they were acclaiming an ideal An 
English king is the English nation the embodiment of a 
stable government. Would that we Americans might see the 
point and cease to belittle our Chief Executive and kick him 



BEN AND LUCY 243 

around like a hound dog the moment his term is up and he 
has no more favors to bestow! 

In London I witnessed the first debate to emasculate the 
House of Lords. I also attended the courts and observed an 
English judge try a suit. It was an action for divorce and 
damages against the seducer. These two causes were joined 
in one, a thing unusual in America. I likewise noted that the 
London courts are more efficient and expeditious than ours ? 
due to the fact that in England they have a presiding judge 
to supervise the entire judicial system. 

Soon after returning to America I was called to Raleigh to 
defend a contempt case of the greatest consequence. Jo- 
sephus Daniels had been arrested by order of Judge PumeU 
and was a prisoner. Daniels' paper had published an alleged 
libel on the Judge, charging that he was a corporation tool 
and unfit to sit on the bench. The Judge's action, indeed, 
was tyrannical it certainly also tended to disrupt the Re- 
publican party. 

On a flimsy pretext, Purnell had thrown the state's valuable 
railroad into bankruptcy, at the instance of a dummy acting 
under cover for the Southern Railroad. This proceeding 
would have forced a sale and enabled the Southern to pur- 
chase the road and squeeze out the state's interest. Daniels, 
in assuming the role of defender of the people, had used the 
harshest and bitterest words. Contempt proceedings fol- 
lowed. Daniels was apprehended and wired me to come to 
Raleigh. 

It is impossible to depict the scene when the matter was 
heard. In my entire experience I never witnessed greater 
popular excitement than when it became known that Jo- 
sephus Daniels was sacrificing himself for the state. So 
wrought up was the Administration that its Governor, 
Aycock, was ready with a writ of habeas corpus, signed by 
Chief Justice Clark, to rescue the editor from the U. S. Mar- 
shal, even at the risk of civil war, in the event that the Judge 



244 BEN AND LUCY 

undertook to imprison him. And imprisonment was PurnelFs 
order. 

"Let the prisoner pay a fine of a thousand dollars and be 
imprisoned in the common jail for sixty days," so read the 
judgment of the Court. But, on appeal, Circuit Judge 
Pritchard reversed PurneU and released Daniels. 

Now, in these proceedings my brethren of the bar, for 
reasons best known to themselves, had selected me to do the 
speaking our time having been cut to only one hour. And 
when Daniels won out and came forth a victor, the Old Reli- 
able crew long and loud! In its opinion my speech had never 
been excelled, not by Matt Ransom, when defending Shot- 
well and Turner, not by Chatham in defending the American 
colonies! 

Thus was I appearing for all comers, whether a Duke or a 
Daniels, a trust or a trust-buster! 

Housekeeping in Durham did not run as smoothly as in 
Oxford. Servants were scarcer. The factories absorbed the 
colored workers, butlers, cooks, and maids. But we still had 
Lucy to fall back on, and Ben, the husband she had lately 
married, a most unusual colored chap, born in the wilds of 
Granville, yet able to read and write and smart enough to 
fool the smartest white man in creation. When sober, Ben 
was a treasure, expert as cook, butler, manservant, nurse, or 
companion a gentleman through and through. But when 
drinking, a sad spectacle, silly, lascivious, and a general 
nuisance. 

Occasionally, my old college mate, Ed Alderman, would 
come over from Chapel Hill and visit us and address the 
Tourist Club, to which my wife belonged. On one of his 
visits, when breakfast was ready and Ben and Lucy's fried 
chicken and Sally Lunn were hot and awaiting us, we sent 
our dainty little five-year-old daughter upstairs as an escort 
to our distinguished guest. Timidly she knocked and Ed 
came out and greeted her in his hearty way. Soon the ac- 



BEN AND LUCY 245 

complished orator and the little child were pals and on a 
common level. Now, it so happened that electric lights had 
just been installed and the little hostess, wishing to be polite, 
took up the conversation at that point. 

"Mr. Alderman," she ventured, "what do you think of the 
electric light system?" 

At this surprising observation, our guest shook with laugh- 
ter, and not for many a day was the episode forgotten, Alder- 
man bursting with jolly, contagious laughter, and catching 
the little lady in his arms and calling out, "Now what do you 
think of the electric light system?" 

Lucy's love for Ben was no less than that of Heloise for 
Abelard. Neither life nor death, nor things present, nor 
things to come, nor storm nor stress, nor fire nor pestilence, 
nor any other creature could separate Lucy from Ben. Some- 
times the riotous mixed-blooded fellow nine parts white- 
would revert to nature and leave town, and get into the most 
disgraceful fracases over some yellow woman, flourishing his 
razor, and cutting and slashing. But this made little differ- 
ence with Lucy she stuck by her Bennie. 

One day, after Ben had disappeared and been gone about a 
month, Lucy came in, looking very disconsolate. "Mr. Win- 
ston," she said, "Bennie's in more trouble." And she handed 
me a telegram from him. He had been convicted for carving 
up a negro man, whose half -white wife he had taken up with. 
"I must raise two hundred and twenty-five dollars at once or 
go to jail for a year," the telegram read. 

"Why, Lucy," said I, "this is your chance. Divorce Ben." 

"Lordee! Mr. Winston, you knows I can't give up Ben- 



me." 



"Well, he seems to have given you up." 

"Nor, sir, Mr. Winston, Bennie ain't gin me up. He's just 
drinkin', that's all." 

Of course I let Lucy have the money, and, month by 
month, she toiled and saved till she had repaid me. 



246 BEN AND LUCY 

Sometimes Ben would operate a moonshine still, as an ad- 
junct to his bHnd tiger, acting as agent for a white man, a 
devil-may-care fellow. At length his business became so 
notorious that the police made a raid and captured the outfit 
while Ben was engaged in stirring the mash. He was taken 
into court, before Judge Oliver Allen, a fatherly, tender- 
hearted man, and convicted. 

"Now, Ben/' said the Judge, "tell me who furnished the 
money to run that still and I'll let you off ." 

"Lor', Mr. Judge," said Ben, "you knows I can't do that." 

"And why not, Ben?" 

"Tell on my partner! No, sir, boss. If I was to do that 
you wouldn't have no more respect for old Ben." 

That situation was so unusual that the Judge was moved. 
Said he, "Ben, you are making a great mistake. Think it over 
tonight and come back in the morning at ten o'clock and give 
the court this information and you shall not be punished." 

It so happened that on that particular evening, the Judge 
and lawyers were at my home and we had a merry time of it. 
All of us devoted to prohibition and equally devoted to a 
stiff highball! Never were Lucy's beaten biscuit and broiled 
quail and layer cake and Baltimore cream quite as fine. Nor 
did Ben, my quondam butler, ever show off to better advan- 
tage. Dressed quite as the occasion demanded, he was quiet, 
smooth, efficient, and ubiquitous. Presently it came time for 
the Four Roses and soda to be served, and Ben was keen to 
fill the Judge's glass to the very brim. 

"Hold!" exclaimed His Honor, looking up and recogniz- 
ing Ben for the first time. "Hello, Ben!" he softly smiled. 
Ben grinned but did not open his mouth. 

Next morning, when court convened, Bennie was on hand, 
as sober as a judge and making himself useful, waiting on the 
Sheriff, filling the Judge's pitcher with ice water, and assist- 
ing the clerk with his heavy books. 

"Mr. SoHdtor," said His Honor, from the bench, "Fm 



BEN AND LUCY 247 

going to give Ben Hester another chance. He's a good negro 
and has the respect of many excellent people. Mr. Clerk, let 
the defendant Hester pay the costs and be discharged." 

Finally Ben came to the end of his row, his violations of 
law being so flagrant that he was sent to the roads for two 
years. And shortly after his sentence began, my wife and I 
were riding leisurely along the highway which the convicts 
were building, and, in the distance, could discover the un- 
fortunate prisoners sweating and swinging their picks and 
shovels to a weird, monotonous chant. Presently we came 
nearer and were just off from a shaded dwelling, where a 
little white child seemed to be playing on the knees of his 
colored companion, with a banjo in his hands. The man was 
Ben, and the child, the road supervisor's. 

"Hello, Ben," I called out. "I thought you were at work." 

"Lor', Mr. Winston," said Ben, overjoyed at seeing us, and 
running down to the fence, "you didn't expect ole Ben to be 
out yonder with them sorry niggers?" 

During the time Ben was on the roads, and Lucy un- 
hampered, our domestic service was a joy. Bearing this fact 
In mind I was soon confronted with a delicate problem. One 
evening Lucy, looking forlorn and friendless, sidled into my 
study and sheepishly said she wished me to get Ben out of 
prison! I tried to fool the girl. I told her Ben's conduct was 
so bad no Governor would dare pardon him. But this did 
not satisfy her, she persisted and said I could do anything. 
Now for the last six months our culinary department had 
been running as smoothly as oiled machinery. But if Ben 
got out and began roaming around there was no telling what 
might happen. Nevertheless, I could not refuse Lucy's re- 
quest, and applied to Governor Russell for a pardon. 

"Good morning, Governor," I said to that much-despised 
Republican Executive. "Fve come to ask a favor of you." 

"And what is it?" he growled in his deep, rough voice. 



248 BEN AND LUCY 

"A pardon, I said, for a colored boy, and here's the applica- 
tion and the petitions signed by " 

"Oh, Hell, Winston," said the explosive Executive. "Damn 
the petitions! Do you say your man should be pardoned?" 

"Well, yes," I managed to reply, 

"All right then, you shall have it." And without more ado 
the Governor rang for his secretary and directed him to fill 
out a pardon for, "What's the damn nigger's name, Judge?" 

"Ben Hester," I replied. 

"For Ben Hester," concluded His Excellency. 

I must add a word concerning this high-strung, impulsive 
Governor, a man of great ability and of commanding pres- 
ence, descended from a wealthy and aristocratic family down 
on the Cape Fear. During Reconstruction days he became a 
red-hot, negro Republican leader, for practically the same 
reason as Colonel Hargrove up in Granville. It seems that 
during the Civil War, and while Russell was a Captain, an 
inferior officer was promoted over him. This insult he never 
forgave, and, as the Democracy and the Confederacy were, 
in his opinion, one and the same, he took revenge on the latter 
by attacking the former. 

In a short time after Ben was pardoned, he was back with 
us again and as impossible as ever. But in a few months he 
went North, and persuaded Lucy to accompany him. In 
New York this inseparable couple served a wealthy family 
with satisfaction, and on several trips down the coast Ben 
acted as assistant chef on the Vanderbilt yacht. 

After the departure of our Hester servants we employed a 
young negro of quite an opposite type from Ben. Henry 
Holding lived with us and served as butler and general utility 
man for several years, giving all his time, except from nine in 
the morning to three in the afternoon, when he attended 
school. Henry and my oldest son were about the same age, 
and when the colored boy's work was over, the two would 
meet in the kitchen and study their lessons together. Honest, 



BEN AND LUCY 249 

faithful, and capable, as Henry proved himself to be, he 
would, I felt sore, some day reach the very top. Nor was I 
mistaken. In a few years he was the most successful colored 
man in the South and president of the largest colored insur- 
ance association in the world. 

The organization of this company came about from a con- 
versation which took place between John Merrick, our polite 
and respected colored barber, and James B. Duke. 

"John," vouchsafed the financier, getting a shave, "why 
don't you hunt up a better job?" 

"Lor', Mr. Duke, what can a po 5 nigger like me git?" 

"Why, organize an insurance company and make every 
dinged nigger in the United States pay you twenty-five dol- 
lars a year." 

John danced with delight and thought it over. The result 
was that the life insurance company came into being, John 
Merrick, the first president. The enterprise was a great suc- 
cess, and when Merrick died Dr. Moore, a colored physician 
of poise and good common sense, succeeded him. Then 
Moore passed away and Holding became president. 

Now the difference between Merrick and Holding is just 
the diff erence between the old-fashioned, contented Southern 
darkey and the new, restless, ambitious, college-bred negro. 
John, plump and pleasant-looking, jolly and gracious, was 
willing to be the white man's buffoon, and laugh and bend 
double at the white man's jokes. Bowing most graciously, 
John would say, "Thank you, sir," for every fifty-cent tip 
that came his way. But, for all his bowing and scraping, 
John was always a man. Now Henry differed from John. 
Lean, Cassius-Eke, and copper-colored, he seldom smiled. 
He sought no tips. All he asked of life was an open field and 
a fair chance. He was strictly business. Existence on the 
Negro's level irked him. 

A great tragedy lurks in the words I am now writing, and 



250 BEN AND LUCY 

in the life of every dissatisfied, aggressive, forward-looking 
negro south of the Potomac. 

As regards this race issue what the Negro is thinking 
about, what he is driving at, what he is demanding no one 
human being is wiser than another. The Negro is the "X" 
in Southern life, our Brer Rabbit, sly, cunning, helpless, in- 
comprehensible. But if anyone knows anything about the 
Negro race, it would seem to be someone who was born 
amidst negroes, grew up with them, employed them and 
owned some of them. Now all that I had done. In Durham, 
I represented Merrick and Moore and Dr. Shepherd and Pro- 
fessor Pierson and humbler negroes, hundreds of them, always 
doing my level best in their behalf. 

I recall an incident, while I was practicing in Oxford. 
Colonel Hargrove, the queer Republican leader, sent for me 
one day and said he wished me to aid in defending a negro 
likely to be convicted on very slim evidence. I went over to 
the Colonel's office and he outlined the case and gave me the 
facts. 

"Now, Winston," said he, in that hearty way of his, "by 
God, I want you in this case. You haven't got any better 
sense than to defend a nigger just like he was a white man! " 

The life of a busy country lawyer is hard, rough and nerve- 
racking. Truly, no one should be a lawyer if he can help it! 
His emotions overwrought, his bow never unstrung, his belt 
never on the idler. Therefore, after years of exacting labors, 
I began to think of putting on brakesslowing up. And the 
opportunity to do this soon came. Down in Goldsboro my 
old college mate, Aycock, was again practicing law, but was 
anxious to move to Raleigh. Now when the Governor be- 
thought himself of a partner his mind seemed to run in my 
direction. At all events, he wired me to come down on im- 
portant business. 

Anticipating his object, I made known my intentions to my 
wife and children. Then there was wailing and lamentation. 



BEN AND LUCY 251 

Why should we leave Durham, the dearest, the sweetest spot 
on earth? "All right/' said I, as I was boarding the train. 
**We will stay right here." 

In a couple of hours I was in AycocFs office, and just 
about to decline his offer when he handed me a telegram. It 
was from Durham. Wife and children had relented. "Well 
stand by you, Tige," they had wked. 



CHAPTER XX 
"GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" 

THIRTY years before, when Aycock and I were college 
mates at Chapel Hill, we had been friendly but not intimate. 
We were much too dissimilar for close friendship, he being 
bold and assertive and I, cautious and conservative; he, the 
leader of the submerged half, I, content to play a less con- 
spicuous part of stand-patter and let-well-enough-alone. But 
as time passed, he and I had been drawn closer together, he 
becoming less strenuous, I more so. 

When I presided in Aycock's district, he rode the circuit 
with me the idol of the people and a great winner of ver- 
dicts. 

At the convention which afterwards nominated Aycock 
for Governor he had delivered a courageous address, taking 
high ground for justice to rich or poor, black or white. 
Speaking to a vast throng of angry men, who considered the 
recent amendment a mere joke, he boldly declared that God 
had given them power not to oppress the weak. The new 
amendment must be enforced as it was written. After 1907 
no white boy should have the slightest advantage, at the polls, 
over a black boy. 

Soon after this address Aycock came over to Durham to 
open his campaign, making our house his home. "Governor," 
said my wife, at the breakfast table, "my husband and Mr. 
Bryant tell me you have just delivered the greatest ex-tem- 
pore speech they ever heard." 

"Ex-tempore!" Aycock chuckled. "Why, my dear madam, 
I worked on that ex-tempore speech a full month!" 

While Aycock was serving as Governor, he had simply 

252 




WALTER HINES PAGE 



CHARLES B. AYCOCK 




EDWIN A. ALDERMAN DAVID COKER 

EMPIRE BUILDERS-II 



"GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" 253 

captivated me to my way of thinking, he was the best living 
exponent of a workable, constitutional Democracy. First of 
all he was every inch a man and had an open mind. He was 
likewise clearheaded, with a keen appreciation of values. He 
made no fetish of the exceptional he was not a quack doctor. 
There were no nostrums in his pharmacology. Equality of 
opportunity for all, education for all: this was his passion. 

When, coming into office, he found a school term of only 
three months, he greatly lengthened it; he found his state next 
to the lowest in illiteracy. "Thank God for South Carolina/* 
he exclaimed. "She keeps North Carolina from the foot of 
the column of illiteracy!" With burning words, now of 
ridicule, now of encouragement, now of uplifting eloquence, 
he spoke, going from sea to mountains, awakening the people 
from a lethargy born of ignorance. 

"A new schoolhouse every day in the year," became his 
promise and his performance. And though the constitutional 
amendment failed of its high purpose, this was no fault of 
Aycock's. 

So courageous and so honest was the man that the richest 
corporations trusted him as fully as the poor one-horse crop- 
per. Having served as District Attorney, by appointment of 
Cleveland, he suffered no man to speak disparagingly of his 
chief. Even in the excitement of the silver campaign he was 
closer to Cleveland than to Bryan. I recall a notable instance 
of this. It was at a meeting of the Democratic Executive 
Committee, and I was present representing Durham. 

Twice Bryan had been defeated for President, and twice 
the Democrats of the South had endorsed him, and his plat- 
form of 1 6 to i, and turned down Grover Cleveland. Major 
Hale and Josephus Daniels were on hand bent on swearing 
the committee further to endorse Bryan. At the proper time 
Hale rose and presented the resolution old 16 to i and asked 
the committee to adopt it. Aycock, stern and resolute, got 
the floor. 



254 "GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" 

"Mr. Chairman/' he said, and his voice rang Eke a bell, "I 
am opposed to that resolution. The fact is I am tired of the 
cowardly way we Democrats have surrendered to the Popu- 
lists. *i6 to i!' C i6 to i!' is all I've heard these eight long 
years. Gentlemen, kill that resolution, have done with sub- 
terfuge. Let the people move without dictation from us, 
and we will return to fundamental principles." 

Aycock quietly resumed his seat and the resolution was 
voted down. Now, at this time, I frankly admit I was stand- 
ing squarely with Major Hale. I was a trimmer, a fusionist, 
out for victory at any price and under any flag. Yet I could 
feel my blood tingle in the presence of a stout, fearless man. 

Charles Aycock and Josephus Daniels were born in the 
same neighborhood. Moreover, Daniels' sweet-spirited 
brother, Frank, had been Aycock's law partner. Therefore, 
though totally unlike in methods of thought, Joe and Charlie 
never clashed. But Aycock was much too broad, too patri- 
otic, to array class against class. The whole interested him, 
not the parts. He knew the parable of the body and its mem- 
bers. He realized that the head could not function without 
the belly, nor the heart without the lungs. All must work 
together. 

Henry G. Connor was Aycock's ideal Aycock, indeed, 
counted his friends among all classes. Duke was his friend, 
and so were Kilgo and Caldwell, editor of the Charlotte Ob- 
server, a paper which had bolted Bryan and Sewell and advo- 
cated Palmer and Buckner. Without a knowledge of men 
like Aycock no one can understand the progress of liberalism 
in the South. In part, it was this consideration a desire to 
become associated with this great man that induced me to 
leave Durham and move to Raleigh. 

And the very first conversation I had with my new partner 
satisfied me I had made no mistake and that we would click 
it off without a jar. 

"Bob," he said, as he removed his long reed stem from his 



"GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" 255 

mouth, and blew out a whiff of tobacco smoke, "Bob, we 
most try and arrange It so that the business of this office will 
be done just a leetle bit better than others." To that I as- 
sented. 

"But, Bob/ 5 he quickly added, "you must also understand 
that sometimes I won't do a blessed lick of work. I'll just 
sit around, a whole week, and smoke my pipe and read the 
Saturday Evening Post, and gas with my friends." 

"Well, Charles," I replied, "that suits me to a T. The fact 
is I didn't come to Raleigh to make money, I came for the 
fun of the thing." 

And yet the people would not let the new firm rest in 
peace. From the opening day we were kept busy. In the 
spring and in the fall, Aycock would be called upon to ap- 
pear in the Important litigation of eight or ten counties, and 
would bring back with him heavy damages and the most dif- 
ficult judgments, which, on appeal, I must get to stick in the 
Supreme Court. Indeed, I argued appeals from all over the 
country. Though we appeared before the legislature in indi- 
vidual cases, we declined retainers from public service and 
utility corporations Aycock's experience as general counsel 
for a railroad had taught him to fight shy of such employ- 
ment. When the telegraph company sought to retain us, 
offering a handsome salary, we declined we were unwilling 
to be known as lobbyists. Yet, in one matter, relating to a 
violation of the Sherman anti-trust law, we represented the 
American Tobacco Company and won a signal victory. 

Some of our cases I followed to the Supreme Court at 
Washington, where I appeared before judges who were 
worthy followers of John Marshall. At that time White was 
Chief Justice, and by his side sat Harlan, Holmes, Brewer, 
Hughes, and others. Practice in this court was a delight. 
There was no rush, no hurry, and no exhibition of power. 
This judicial body functioned as smoothly as the clock on the 
mantel. I knew several of the Justices personally. I had 



256 "GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" 

played golf, occasionally, with Justice Van Devanter. Of 
Justice Brewer I have already spoken. My acquaintance with 
Justice Holmes came about through the courtesy of Senator 
Lodge. 

I have said that this body of picked, detached jurists was 
wholly unruffled, and yet, on one occasion, I witnessed a rip- 
ple on the surface. I was seated in the courtroom, waiting 
for my case Red C Oil Company against the Board of Agri- 
cultureto be called, when an appeal from Idaho was taken 
up and an attorney from that state rose to make his first ap- 
pearance, a fact which soon became manifest. The novice 
was rattling away, denouncing a fraud which had been per- 
petrated, discussing matters of state jurisdiction, exclusively. 
The Chief Justice quietly interposed. 

"How did you get your case into this court?" he asked, 
referring, of course, to the well-known principle that nothing 
but Federal questions engaged its attention. 

"On a point of fraud, Your Honor! " thundered the novice. 

"Yes, yes," replied the Chief Justice, "but what is the pre- 
cise question involved? What is it that gives this court juris- 
diction?" 

"Fraud, fraud! Your Honor." 

"Sir," returned the Chief Justice, growing red in the face, 
"what constitutional provision is impinged?" 

"Precisely, Your Honor, fraud, the greatest fraud ever 
perpetrated in the Coeur d'Alene. Fraud cuts down every- 
thing." 

Rap, rap, rap, from the bench. "Really, sir, we cannot 
proceed in this way. In a word, tell us how you claim a 
Federal question, a jurisdictional question, is raised in this 
record?" 

"Fraud, Your Honor. As I was going on to explain when 
Your Honor interrupted me. Fraud! . . ." 

By this time the sedate courtroom was a puzzle. The vis- 
iting attorneys in a suppressed titter, Holmes and Day and 



"GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" 2S7 

Van Devanter scarcely able to contain themselves. But 
Harlan relieved the situation. Turning to Chief Justice 
White he whispered, "Do you not think we would better let 
that little fellow go his own gait?" 

As the ponderous Chief Justice bowed, and fell back in his 
chair, he quietly wrapped his silken robes around him and 
closed his eyelids. The little Idaho lawyer proceeded to con- 
sume his full rime, explaining the greatest fraud ever per- 
petrated in the Coeur d'Alene! Next morning I noticed in 
the papers that the appeal had been dismissed for want of 
jurisdiction. 

Some years later Judge Hughes, who had become Chief 
Justice, related a companion story to this. A pompous, in- 
flated lawyer, from a nameless state, was arguing his first ap- 
peal in the Supreme Court, and was anxious to impress the 
judges with his learning. "May it please Your Honors/ 9 he 
said, in the most condescending manner, "permit me to state 
that I am acquainted with every phase of this case. I know 
the facts, I know the law. Therefore I give Your Honors 
leave to ask any question you may choose, and I shall en- 
lighten Your Honors accordingly." 

This modest peroration so interested Justice Holmes the 
bright, particular star of the bench that he peered down over 
his nose glasses, and drawled, in that detached New England 
way of his, "Availing myself of the privilege you have ex- 
tended us, to enlighten the Court, may I inquire, by what 
route your case got into this court?" 

"By appeal, Your Honor, the usual route." 

"So I observe. But you should have come by a writ of 
error." 

"There, by God!" ejaculated the candid novice, thor- 
oughly confused, resuming his seat. 

I had been living in my new home but a few years when a 
curious episode occurred. I announced myself a candidate 
for Congress! As I have already intimated, political prefer- 



258 "GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" 

ment had been one of my suppressed hobbies and it made no 
particular difference what position I got just so it was an 
office! Like all true Southerners, I was eaten up with ambi- 
tion, and anxious to spread my tail like a peacock. In other 
words, I resembled Bob Glenn, afterwards Governor, whose 
rip-roarious political harangues reminded the ornate Ransom 
of an empty wagon rattling down a rocky lane! 

"Bob/' said Governor Aycock to Glenn, who was apply- 
ing for a captain's place in the militia, "Bob, why under 
heaven do you want to be a captain of a military company?" 

"Well, Governor," replied Bob, "you see I have never 
been captain of a military company!" 

As I have said, I had no reason for going to Congress, no 
political theory to develop, no changes to suggest. I simply 
wanted to go. In truth, if the race-issue had been eliminated 
I saw no difference between a Democrat and a Republican. 
In the matter of choosing between the two parties I resem- 
bled a colored client of mine, Peter Charleston, who lived up 
in Granville. One day Peter came in my office and said he 
wanted to get a divorce and wished to know the price. After 
I mentioned the cost about fifty dollars he sat and we talked 
of old times when we were boys: craps, persimmon beer, 
buUaces, muscadines, and other topics. Presently Pete rose 
to go, without another word about the divorce. 

"Well, Pete," I said, "how about that little divorce mat- 
ter?" 

"Boss man," he said, very seriously, "ever sence you said 
hit was gwine to cost fifty dollars I been studyin' hit over 
and to tell you the Gord's truff, de ain't no fifty dollars dif- 
ference twix them two gals!" 

My canvass for Congress was short-lived, it soon petered 
out. I discovered that it would take a barrel of money to 
dislodge Congressman Pou two hundred dollars to each pre- 
cinct heeler, a sizable sum to a general manager, and a goodly 
salary to every county organizer. My canvass did proceed 



"GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" 259 

so far, however, that it was thought I could win, and Pan 
sought me out with a proposition that if I would withdraw 
and leave him the field he would support me two years hence. 
I was very fond of Ed Pou and was glad to stand aside and 
let him represent our district until the day of his death. 

During these callow times, when the political bee was bus- 
ing in my bonnet, I had no other thought than the success of 
the party. Of course I was a Joe Daniels' man, and gloried 
in his paper, the Old Reliable, and its double the Rhamkatt 
Roaster and its editor, the Old Codger. The Old Reliable 
was our political Bible. Its incisive, walloping of the radicals, 
its ridicule of political opponents and railroad attorneys- 
writing their names with small letters "james calhoun" its 
savage thrusts at Governor Russell for placing Jim Young, a 
negro, on the Board to inspect the white blind asylum: all 
these onslaughts solidified the Democratic party and made it 
about as respectable to be a Republican as to be a highway- 
man or a kidnaper! 

Having the caution of a politician, and his thirst for office, 
I was like unto all office-holders out to win. Not to lead 
the people but to feed them with whatever they wanted, and 
give it to them red hot! Think of the difference between 
Clay, not running for the presidency, and Clay, in the politi- 
cal turmoil, and one may discover the difference between 
principle and expediency. Yet once, at least, I did balk at 
Daniels* exhibition of partisanship; I thought he had crossed 
the deadline even of political expediency. 

When the white Republicans agreed to cut out the Negro 
vote, they organized a Lily White party and invited the 
Democracy to meet them on the basis of whites against 
whites. This issue the Old Reliable scouted and attacked. 
It declared that the nigger was still the Republican party and 
it was a Republican trick. The Rhamkatt Roaster clinched 
the argument with a sockdolager, it was "the same old coon 
with another ring round its tail." In a word Mr. Daniels 



260 U GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" 

drew a red herring across the trail set up a straw man and 
knocked it down to my utter amazement. 

Partisan though I professed to be, I was hurt to the quick. 
I wrote an open letter to the Editor. Said I, "In the great 
assize God Almighty will not hold you guiltless for such 
conduct." This letter I sent to the News and Observer and 
it was set up and would have appeared, in the morning edi- 
tion, had I not annulled it. About ten o'clock at night Dan- 
iels phoned and asked me to call at his home. He had fallen 
in the bathtub and sprained his leg and could not get around 
to see me, would I not call by? 

"Bob," he said, exhibiting the letter which had been sent 
him from his office, "this thing will be wired all over the 
United States and will injure me no little. I do not ask you 
to withdraw the letterwe publish everything I simply lay 
the facts before you." 

"Why, Joe," I replied, "certainly I do not wish to injure 
your paper. I am your friend, in many things I glory in your 
course, but really such an editorial is not a credit. It is in- 
jurious to the state and absolutely destructive of our little 
city." The article did not appear. 

And, just here, I would say that no doubt men of the 
Daniels and Walter Clark type, in their day, served the coun- 
try as faithfully as did Aycock or Tompkins. Perhaps Jeffer- 
son was as useful as Washington. But I could not see it that 
way. I was for building up the country and not for tearing 
it down. The constructive seemed to me to be wiser than 
the destructive. Towards Clark, I was not bitter as my part- 
ner Aycock sometimes was, but oftentimes I felt a sense of 
humiliation at the Judge's extreme views and his manner of 
promulgating them. Though he and Daniels condemned vio- 
lence and lynchings, they advocated measures of such a law- 
less and unconstitutional nature as to encourage the very vio- 
lence they condemned. And this idea Aycock once blazoned 
forth. 



"GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" 261 

It was in the Supreme Court rooms, at the last argument 
of Gattis against Kilgo, a suit originated by Judge Clark. At 
this time the personnel of the court had been changed and 
all the members were Democrats. In this situation, I had 
been diplomatic. In my address I had said I did not attack 
the Chief Justice. I agreed with him in many things; I 
honored him. And here I pointed to the empty chair which 
he had vacated, because interested in the litigation. In a few 
moments Aycock came on to speak. 

"My learned brother," he said, referring to me, and speak- 
ing very deliberately, "tells Your Honors he agrees with 
Chief Justice Clark in many things. I want to say I don't! 
Heain't mykind of ajudge! " 

This remark of Aycock's was provoked, no doubt, by 
Clark's unusual conduct on the bench. As the end justified 
the means, Clark proceeded to write political pamphlets and 
go before the legislature and lobby his dissenting opinions 
into law. And though he accomplished much good, protect- 
ing the child in the factory, and the laborer on the railroad, 
enlarging the rights of women, and forcing the corporations 
to toe the mark, he undoubtedly soiled the judicial ermine 
a charge which the Charlotte Observer hurled at him, year 
in and year out. 

At the end of Clark's candidacy for a seat on the Supreme 
Bench of the United States, he came into my office to thank 
me for my assistance, and, for the first time in his life, un- 
bent. 

"Winston," he said, "I am an unfortunate man. I was too 
young to become a Brigadier General in the Confederacy 
and now I am too old to go on the Supreme Bench." 

After I had responded in kind, I said, "Now, Mr. Chief 
Justice, as you have grown a bit personal and let down the 
foil, I would like to ask a question, Do we live after death?" 

"Winston," he replied, in his smooth, dangerous manner, 
"in that matter I am like the Englishman who was asked to 



262 "GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" 

what religion he belonged. 'The religion of all gentlemen/ 
he replied. 'And pray what religion is that? 5 "No gende- 
man ever tells/ " 

The social life of Raleigh was rich and full. There were 
old and well-established schools, active churches, residences, 
roomy and home-like. The women were fine hostesses, not 
only abounding in wit and delightful chit-chat but in well- 
ordered households. Everyone who was able owned a coun- 
try place a plaything with a dainty lake or tarn, stocked 
with fish. Well-named the City of Oaks, the capital was not 
surpassed for its giant oaks and shapely hickories and elms. 
Many homesteads occupied a city block and had pretty lawns 
and flowering shrubs and plants. 

A distinguishing feature of the town was the accommoda- 
tion for servants, some of whom had never left the premises 
and scarcely knew they had been set free. The relation be- 
tween old Raleighites and their black friends was beautiful. 
The wealthiest woman in town had a maid-servant, Mary 
Wood, who often slept in the adjoining room and accom- 
panied her mistress to Florida every winter. The men never 
went on a fishing or hunting expedition without a colored 
man who was their jester, handy-man, and companion. Now 
into this bright picture, we may be sure, our old friends Ben 
and Lucy, who had accompanied us to Raleigh, fitted snugly. 
Indeed, my youngest son thought no outing worthwhile un- 
less Ben was along Ben, always unruffled, always loyal, and 
a prince of caterers. 

It was this feature of Raleigh, the social end as I have said, 
that had attracted me. All my days, I had read of famous 
salons, Madam Rowland's, Madam Recamier's, Abbotsford, 
Holland House, so dear to the heart of Charles James Fox. 
And just such a salon my wife and I had in mind, nothing 
suiting our fancy better than the presence of sprightly 
friends. We purchased the old Hawkins homestead, within 
a stone's throw of the Governor's mansion, with a private 



"GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" 263 

water system, numberless rooms, high-ceiEnged and expan- 
sive, each room bearing the name of some dead and distin- 
guished Hawkins the Governor's room, the Senator's room, 
the General's room. In the basement were comfortable quar- 
ters, fitted up for the use of the slaves. This fine specimen of 
slavery days we engaged an Atlanta architect to remodel, en- 
joining upon him to have an eye to receptions. And this he 
did. 

Our house-warming was at the wedding of our oldest 
daughter, an occasion of great happiness both to us and to 
friends in our former homes. Not only had the lawn been 
transformed into a thing of beauty, with parti-colored lights 
hid away in the shrubbery and grasses, but the apple punch 
was pronounced the equal of Raleigh's palmy days. And un- 
doubtedly it was entitled to this encomium, having been con- 
cocted by Annie Faison Smith's old-fashioned recipe: A peck 
of apples, cooked thoroughly done and unpeeled, placed in 
a cut-glass bowl filled to the very brim with brandy and 
whiskey and spices, to set for weeks and weeks until the 
fruit was absorbed and there remained only a rich, amber- 
colored, ropy essence of liquid sweetness deadly as Uncle 
Remus' deceitful jug! 

Sometime after this event Henry Cabot Lodge came down 
to address the Historical Society and was entertained by us. 
A reception followed with five hundred people in attendance. 
A curious circumstance was connected with the Senator's 
visit: he failed to bring along his evening clothes and had to 
appear at social functions in a cutaway coat. Greatly humili- 
ated, the affable and courtly man was full of apologies. He 
had expected to meet a handful of dry-as-dusts in the back 
room of some public building! . On the contrary, five thou- 
sand people crowded the new auditorium to see the Boston 
aristocrat, the fire-eating Radical. After Lodge had spoken 
for more than an hour a wag remarked, "Oh, for a lodge in 
some vast wilderness!" 



264 <f GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" 

The Senator's oration "The Democracy of the Constitu- 
tion" manifesting great research, was printed and dedicated 
to the visit to us. 

At an eleven o'clock breakfast, next morning, we had a 
few friends to meet Lodge, including three or four charming 
women. Everyone was delighted with our guest: he was 
voted ideal. After breakfast, we gathered around an open 
fire in the drawing room, and the discussion turned to na- 
tional affairs. Lodge considered Simmons not only a wise 
leader but a useful and hard-working senator. 

He pronounced Claude Kitchin a partisan of unusual abil- 
ity. "But for one of Kitchin's speeches," he said, "I would 
have been defeated last time." In Congress Kitchin had 
asserted, according to Lodge, that the South, under Demo- 
cratic laws, would soon capture all New England cotton 
mills. "This statement," continued Lodge, "we posted at 
every crossroads of Massachusetts. It re-elected me." 

As the conversation flowed along the Senator turned and 
asked who was the stern-looking military man who had come 
up the evening before and addressed him. 

"Was he about seventy and clean-shaven, except a fiery, 
grizzled mustache?" 

"Precisely." 

"Why, that was Colonel Alphonso Avery, Senator, brother 
to Colonel Isaac Avery, killed at Gettysburg." 

"Brother to the brave man who wrote the lines I read in 
your hall of history?" 

"Yes, Senator, a brother and just as brave." 

And then Lodge sat for a moment and looked into the 
burning coals. "Those were brave men, all of them North 
and South. Had I made this visit ten years ago I would not 
have offered the Force Bill in the Senate." 

Perhaps M. Jusserand, the French Ambassador, was the 
most popular visitor we had the pleasure of entertaining. The 
Ambassador came down to address the Historical Society 



"GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" 265 

and the women of our little city simply ran crazy over the 
cultured and polished French diplomat. They sat all about 
him, on the sofas, on the chairs, on the stools, on the arms of 
his davenport, as he entertained them with stories of the 
women of France. 

We likewise had the pleasure of visits from Alphonso 
Smith and Franklin K. Lane Smith being a most enthusiastic 
and delightful lecturer, and Lane fitting into our household 
as a member of the family. President Taft also partook of 
our hospitality. Needless to say the President who had 
honored our friend Connor with a Judgeship was thrice wel- 
come. At an eleven o'clock breakfast, Taft was the center 
of a group of cultured friends and admirers. 

I likewise recall a visit from Walter Page and Edwin 
Markham, poet and author of those terrible words, "The 
Man with the Hoe." Page spoke and made his usual con- 
structive talk, advocating industrial education and the pursuit 
of truth. "The South has three ghosts," said he. "Fear of 
Negro domination, the tyranny of religion, the reign of the 
Confederate Brigadier." 

To the propagator of these hurtful principles, the foment- 
ers of these wrongs, Page then sternly addressed himself: 

Go unhonored hence, go home 

Night's childless children, here your day is done, 

Pass with the stars and leave us with the sun. 

I had Page and Markham with me to lunch at our beautiful 
Club House. There the three of us sat and looked out over 
the everlasting hills, communed with the forest trees, breathed 
the soft October air and dreamed of the day when one of 
God's greatest gifts to man the Sunny South would come 
into her own. 

But strangers and visitors were not our only guests: old 
friends came, those who had known us from childhood. 
Among the number none more welcome than Joseph Blount 



266 "GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" 

Cheshire, popular and aristocratic Bishop of North Carolina 
the most candid, the most truthful and the most courageous 
clerical, I dare say, that ever bore a crozier. One day the 
Bishop courteously interrogated me about my religious belief 
and, as I was not a churchman, wished to know my objection 
to the Episcopal Church. I replied that the priesthood 
seemed to me a superstition. Every man, like Melchisedec y 
should be a priest unto himself, 

"Oh, well," said the Bishop, "if you have that idea further 
talk is useless." And we laughed and changed the subject. 

Now the occasion of this unusual conversation is interest- 
ing. My wife had complained to the Bishop that the Church 
had neglected Chapel Hill and hence many young students 
had strayed from the fold, myself among the number. 

"Why, Bishop/' she said, "if there had been any sort of a 
clergyman at Chapel Hill, when my husband was a student, 
he'd be a good churchman today." 

"Hold on! my dear madam," chuckled the Bishop, over- 
come with laughter, "I was the clergyman!" 

Undoubtedly, at that time, I had placed too much reliance 
on the Word and not enough on the Spirit. I should have 
interpreted the Bible in the light of tradition and the writings 
of the Fathers. No doubt every religious organization stands 
in need of aU the adjuncts: Historicity, Catholicity, Episco- 
pacy and the rest! 

The Bishop was fond of a good joke, though it might be 
on himself. And dearly he loved to puncture bubbles and 
bladders. When a high-flown Southern novel was published, 
having a long-pedigreed Cheshire as its hero, the Bishop 
sniff ed and said, "Why, my people don't belong in that class. 
We were eminently respectable, and we go back many gen- 
erations, but we never set up for F.F.V.'s! " 

Once a flighty, charming cousin of his returned from a visit 
to the palatial home of a kinsman, Doctor Hill, in Baltimore, 
and was fuU of herself . "Oh, Cousin Joe," she beamed, "you 




THE CHURCH MILITANT BISHOP CHESHIRE, THE AUTHOR'S WIFE AND SISTER, 
AND JULIA WITH HER CHILDREN 



"GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS*' 267 

should see Cousin William Hill's magnificent home. Why, 
it reminds me of our ancestral estates down in Halifax. 11 

Now the Bishop knew that his people never had owned 
anything palatial. He therefore replied, "Cousin Maria* did 
you ever hear the story of why our grandfather refused to let 
Aunt Sally marry that Royster fellow from up in Granviile?** 

"No, Cousin Joe, do tell me about it." 

"Well, young Royster came down courting our aunt, and 
next morning told the colored boy, who was making a fire, 
to bring up a bowl and pitcher, he wished to wash his face- 
such an exhibition of effeminacy that Grandpa broke up the 
match! 'Tell that fellow/ he said, 'to come down to the 
horse trough and wash his face like other folks!' " 

A story of mine used to amuse the Bishop and he had me 
tell it, time and again. A poor woman, of gentle manners, 
and so devoted to her worthless husband that she would have 
sworn the horns off a billygoat to shield him, came in my 
office and asked me to defend her no-account spouse, charged 
with hurling rocks through a transom and into the next room. 

"Well," said I, "what's our defense? Didn't he throw the 
rocks?" 

"No, lawyer," she said, "not on purpose." 

"How so then?" 

"Well, you see, it was this way, lawyer. Jimmy, that's my 
ole man, he was a-drinkin' and wa'n't a-meaning of no harm. 
Not at all, lawyer, for Jimmy he's a good man when he ain't 
a-messed up with corn liquor and sich. And Jimmy he 'lows 
to me, 'Sal, does you see that nail right up thar in the j'ist?* 
And I says, 'Yes,' and he says, Well, I'm gwine to drive that 
nail up to the head.' And then Jimmy he hauled off, he did, 
and flung a few rocks at the nail, but he didn't mean no harm. 
And that's the plumb truth, lawyer, if I ever told hit!" 

Thus smoothly ran the current of life, as tranquilly indeed 
as had been planned, when suddenly Charlie Aycock devel- 
oped a leaking heart-valve. Soon he left me to join the im- 



268 "GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS' 9 

mortals dead in the cause of humanity! Not long after- 
ward, my wife breathed her last. Four years of war fol- 
lowed. And so went my English salon. 1 

For a while I drifted along, practicing law and winding up 
my affairs. In a few months, J. C. Biggs resigned his judge- 
ship, and took Aycock's place. I had known Biggs since in- 
fancy. Son of a Confederate captain, grandson of a Senator 
a Hard-Shell Baptist, a strict constructionist, an unrelenting 
advocate of states' rights Judge Biggs came naturally by his 
love of the Constitution. When President of the Bar Asso- 
ciation, he had written a notable address proclaiming that 
document the bulwark of our liberties. Fate played this 
splendid lawyer a scurvy trick when it made him Solicitor 
General and set him to the task of plowing around an instru- 
ment he worshiped. Many a time I have heard Biggs rag 
Chief Justice Clark for his contention that no court should 
declare an act of Congress or of the legislature unconstitu- 
tional. I must say that I never knew a better posted or a 
more inerrant lawyer, in matters pertaining to code practice 
and common law, than Crawford Biggs. 

It was during these slack-water daysthe tide neither com- 
ing in nor going out that I chanced to meet Professor Con- 
nor of Chapel Hill. 

"Bob," said I, "if a fellow had enough money to live hand- 
somely anywhere in the world, where should he go?" 

"To Washington City, of course," he replied, "and join 
the Cosmos Club and play golf and do nothing and be a 
gentleman." 

Connor's words sank deep. In a few months I was in 

1 "University day was observed with unusually successful exercises. The 
Founders' Day oration by Judge Robt. W. Winston, Ay cock: His People's 
Genius was well received by the large audience, and commented upon 
most favorably by the State Press. A touching scene to the students and 
numerous visitors followed the address. Judge Francis D. Winston, brother 
of the speaker and a close friend of Governor Aycock, rose and embraced 
Judge Robert at the conclusion of his address."-TJbe Alumni 
Nov., 1933. 



"GOD WILL NOT HOLD YOU GUILTLESS" 269 

Washington, a member of the Cosmos, and playing golf. I 
had sold out my holdings, lock, stock, and barrel, at top- 
notch prices, and invested in United States securities, and 

there I was. And foot-loose. The greatest change in my 
surroundings, as I soon discovered, was the colored man: 
down South, docile, slow-going, lacking in ambition; in 
Washington, alert, aspiring, discontented, dreaming of equal- 
ity before the law. 



BOOK THREE 
BEAUTY FOR ASHES 



CHAPTER XXI 
NEW PASTURES GREEN 

THE peregrinations of the four brothers Winston were un- 
usual but not uniqueoftentimes in the past whole families 
had migrated from the South and settled in the West. When 
the true causes of Southern retrogression are told more em- 
phasis must be put on loss of population. Recently I had 
occasion to consult the sociological department at Chapel Hill 
upon this subject. The Dean insisted that it was rather the 
balance of population than the balance of trade that had in- 
jured the South. He cited one favorable state, North Caro- 
lina, which had lost more than 350,000 people by emigration. 

In a life of "Uncle" Joe Cannon, an old Quaker and the 
famous Speaker of the House, I read that, when he was a 
child and before his folks had removed to Illinois, he often 
noticed droves of covered wagons filled with men, women, 
and children, headed for the West. The cause of this removal 
was slavery. 

Now, not all of the Brothers had left the South; though 
three had gone, one remained: Brother Frank had kissed the 
rod and was back in the fold. But Brother Pat was an 
emigre, and Brother George, an exile, living in retirement in 
New York. Was I, too, an exile? I would say not. I rather 
occupied a place between the extreme of kissing the rod and 
shaking the dust of the state from off my feet. True I was 
departing, but I was leaving my heart behind. At some fu- 
ture time I might return, and see the thing through; I would 
do my part in rebuilding the old Commonwealth. But just 
now I needed a breathing spell. 

Deep down in the bosom of every toiling son of Adam 

273 



274 NEW PASTURES GREEN 

there lurks a desire to quit business and do nothingat least 
such was my case. When I gave up law practice and moved 
to Washington I was taking the first step in retiring quitting 
the demnation grind, as Mr. Mantilini so well calls the com- 
plications of life. But the time absolutely to retire had not 
yet arrived; I had to slow down and overcome the momentum 
of forty years of a struggle red in tooth and claw. And yet 
I was beginning to put on brakes. I had only one client, a 
real-estate broker, who paid me well to sit around his offices 
an hour or two each morning. 

After a quiet breakfast at the Cosmos Club, where I looked 
out upon La Fayette Square and the dignified White House 
grounds, I would saunter down to my office and amuse my- 
self until noon, reading the magazines or immersed in the Eng- 
lish classics. Sometimes I would spend a morning in the Con- 
gressional Library. Each day, by two, I would be out on the 
delightful golf course of Chevy Chase, and not until darkness 
had set in, would I surrender and, weary with the day's sport, 
start for the city. Chevy Chase was the playground of Presi- 
dents and Cabinet officers and lesser lights. There I met 
President Harding and found him friendly and likable, assum- 
ing no air of superiority, but conducting himself as modestly 
as a private citizen. On one occasion, I was in a foursome 
and the President, with only three in his party, caught up 
with us. 

"Mr. President," we saluted, "you have the right-of-way." 
And we stood aside. 

"Not at all, gentlemen," the President smiled. "A three- 
some has no standing on the course, and you have the right- 
of-way," 

Thereupon, the President and a Cabinet officer and Ned 
McLean slowed up and lagged on behind us. At another 
time, I was playing on one fairway and the President on an 
adjoining one perhaps Nos. 3 and 4 and, in driving the ball, 
he hooked it over on my side, barely missing my head. He 



NEW PASTURES GREEN 275 

came across and was profuse in apologies. Undoubtedly the 
human side of Harding had much to do with his popularity. 
I was about to say success, but I fear he was a great success 
neither as golfer nor as President. 

Washington was full of rumors about his excesses. Among 
other scandals, it was said that revenue officers, out in Ohio, 
once made a scoop and captured a still, reporting the matter 
to the press. But it was squelched when it became known 
that the President was the illicit distillery's best customer. 
This was in prohibition days, as will be remembered, when 
whiskey was outlawed and we were all supposed to become 
good by act of Congress! 

The best golfer of his years, I thought, was John Barton 
Payne, a native of Virginia, who had practiced law quite a 
while in Chicago. An impressive man, of commanding per- 
sonality, the Judge was a great phrase maker. In Warrenton, 
where he was born, the Judge placed a marker over the graves 
of his uncles killed in the Civil War seven of them as I re- 
member. Upon the tomb these words are carved: "Virginia 
called them" words that tell the whole story. 

Sometimes I would play golf with Judge Payne, but my 
mate on the course was Chief Justice Campbell, of the Court 
of Claims a delightful Alabama gentleman. During a tour- 
nament of a full week, out on the Congressional links, I once 
went around and watched the professionals in action Walter 
Hagen, Jock Hutchinson, Jirn Barnes, Abe Mitchell, Francis 
Ouimet, and Gene Sarazen, the last a youth just entering on 
his brilliant career. 

Two things I got out of this experience, the necessity of 
selecting the best clubs and learning the art of putting. 
Hagen, as I observed, often won out on his superior putting 
ability. The pros gave me leave to inspect their clubs, and 
I went through every bag, discovering no freak clubs what- 
soeverno bulky, dreadnaught drivers, no funny, gooseneck 
putters. In golf, as in life, the same rule obtains: one must 



276 NEW PASTURES GREEN 

know the rules and follow them. The exceptional has no 
staying qualities. To quote a Southern saying, "Brag is a 
good dog, but Holdfast is better." 

A small book, called The ABC of Golf, aided me no little 
in building up a satisfactory drive. The novice should begin 
golf without club or ball, and standing before the mirror. 
Following these directions, I must have driven a million imag- 
inary ballsbits of white paper bearing down on them with 
imaginary drivers. Pretty soon I was going smooth and easy, 
clutching the club in my fingers and not in my palms, and 
the clubhead coming first in and then "oot," as the Scotch 
say. It pleased me to discover that golf has its maxims, just 
as Equity has. "Never up never in," is the foundation of 
effective putting, since the common fault is falling short. 

"Play the club as soled," is a basis of good driving, cocking 
up the club being a capital error. A companion maxim to 
this is, "Let the clubhead do the work." That is, do not try 
to help the club out, play it just as it is built flat on the 
ground. "Grasp the club with the fingers and not in the 
palms." This rule will come a little awkwardly at first, but 
in a short time will be easy and natural. It is the most useful 
of them alL "Let the clubhead come in and then go oot." 
This Scotch caution Ferguson taught me, and it enabled me 
to send the ball straight down the course. 

"Never press." This rule, if followed, will correct the 
common fault of beginners, especially those who have played 
baseball, and have an idea they can drive the ball over the 
fence with one terrific smack. But they are mistaken, as the 
next maxim will show. "Follow through," teaches the folly 
of trying to play golf as though it were baseball. It is not 
the impact that counts, it is the push of the club after the 
impact. "Co-ordinate." This maxim implies the bringing 
together of all parts of the body and putting them into the 
play, utilizing arms, legs, and thews at the same time. 

By observing these simple rules and practicing many hours 



NEW PASTURES GREEN 277 

a week I became quite a golfer. Once, in fact, I was the 
runner-up in a contest with more than a hundred fairly good 
players, and received a much-coveted souvenir. The game 
of golf not only furnished diversion but was precious for a 
deeper reason: it undoubtedly prolonged my days. Before I 
took up the game I was becoming weak and anaemic; close 
attention to business and long hours at my desk had lowered 
my vitality and impaired my digestion. But, after I took to 
golf and began to live out in the open, my health improved. 
At sixty, thanks to the game, I had begun life all over again. 
It has been said, indeed, that a man may be expected to die at 
about fifty-five, or else to live to ripe old age. 

Washington I found a city of numberless attractions, there 
being a social and literary side as well as a business and 
political. The Cosmos Club had numerous stimulating influ- 
encesa model reading room, a well-selected library, and 
interesting people from all parts of the globe, scholars, writers, 
scientists engaged in research. Each week there would be a 
social gathering in our reception rooms and a meeting of sci- 
entific societies in the comfortable basement once the manger 
for the horses of a former owner of the property. 

Some queer specimens had found a home at the Cosmos, 
among others General Greeley, whose grizzled, polar-bear 
look bespoke the Arctic explorer. A venerable English sci- 
entist, having a tousled head of hair and a bushy beard, was 
also one of our members. We were introduced by Duane 
Fox, a retired attorney of Washington, a man with a soul as 
gentle as ever breathed. "Judge" said Fox, after the three 
of us were seated in one of the cozy corners of the Club, "the 
Professor is from Mesopotamia and has made a specialty of 
fleas." 

"Fleas!" I exclaimed. "Is there more than one kind of flea? 
Isn't a flea a flea?" 

The Professor smiled and quietly observed that there were 



278 NEW PASTURES GREEN 

many hundred kinds of fleas and he himself had segregated 
more than six hundred varieties. 

"Why, Professor, you amaze me. Tell me more about your 
fleas." 

Thereupon, he went on to say that, as agent of the English 
government, he had been studying the flea for half a century, 
that fleas are pests which carry disease, often spreading 
bubonic plague. 

"Well," I ventured, "I am sure you never ran across an 
educated flea?" 

"Oh, yes," he replied. "Just cut off a flea's hind legs and 
you have an educated flea, one that will pull wagons and do 
other stunts!" 

Dr. Stiles, of the Rockefeller Institute, was likewise full of 
strange and interesting facts. He was engaged in removing 
hookworms from the poor of the South who had been going 
barefoot. His headquarters were at Wilmington, N. C, 
where he had achieved marvelous results. This disease is 
developed when pesky little parasites, called hookworms, 
burrow into one's toes and work their way through the blood 
and into the bowels. "Until lately," said the expert, "we 
knew nothing of the hookworm. Now we understand that 
it is dangerous to go barefoot in filthy soil since these vermin 
are very active. In fact, it is my opinion that during the Civil 
War hundreds of Union prisoners died at Andersonville from 
hookworm disease, contracted because the weather was hot 
and the soldiers barefoot. Another interesting fact is that 
the hookworm and typhoid are in origin negro diseases, 
whereas tuberculosis is the white man's disease. It is the 
contact of these two that has increased the death rate of the 
South." 

At this time the new and wonderful instrument called the 
radio was amazing the scientific world. Well do I remember 
the first time I sat and skeptically gazed at this little contrap- 
tion. Quite a party of us had gathered in the Covenant 



NEW PASTURES GREEN 279 

Presbyterian Church to witness the experiment, and though 
there was static aplenty and poor connection generally, we 
did make out to hear some of the words and wondered what 
would next come from the sleeve of the scientists. 

An interesting member of the Cosmos was Fred Howe. 
In the World War he had been Wilson's Commissioner of 
Immigration, and decidedly pro-German. In the summer- 
time, he was conducting an open f oram at Siasconset on Nan- 
tucket Island the School of Opinion, it was called. The 
experiment caught my fancy and so cordial was Howe's in- 
vitation to visit him that I could not resist. A few years later 
I spent several months on the Island, with eyes wide open and 
ears erect, in the presence of experts in the field of psychology 
and sociology and science. Could anyone, indeed, fail to be 
impressed by the outfit which Fred Howe had gathered at 
his Bohemian school many of whom had been sent to jail for 
opinion's sake? 

My delight, however, was not indoors, but out in the open 
strolling with John McChord, a Kentucky judge and the 
adviser of the Interstate Commerce Commission. Leaving the 
Club, in the afternoon, he and I would pass by the crude 
Andrew Jackson statue mockingly named the Hobby Horse 
because of its resemblance to that household plaything with 
its history-making inscription, "Our American Union: it 
must be preserved," chiseled thereon, as rumor affirms by 
President Teddy Roosevelt and a blacksmith, on a dark night 
of course, and without authority of Congress, or any other 
living being! 

Then, veering off towards the Treasury, the Judge and I 
would pass the Sherman monument and pause. There he 
would tell the story of a Union Kentucky soldier who died 
leaving a will with McChord as executor. "And my main 
duty," the Judge would laugh, "was to carry out the provi- 
sion of the old soldier's will, which directed the executor to 



280 NEW PASTURES GREEN 

purchase a monument and carve these words upon It: *He 
went with Sherman to the sea/ " 

The Basin and the graceful Circle, with the cherry trees in 
blossom, were a source of perpetual joy to McChord and 
myself. On a summer's afternoon we would likewise gather 
in the Mall, with thousands of whites, and watch a game of 
baseball between highly-excited rival negro teamsthe darkies 
yelling just as wildly and unrestrainedly as if in their native 
South! Frequently, after nightfall, we would wander down 
to the sylvan theater, just off from the Washington Monu- 
ment. There, prone on our backs, we would gaze into the 
starry heavens and listen to John Philip Sousa's band filling 
the air with melody. 

On one occasion Dr. Moore, Chairman of the Fine Arts 
Commission, and I were sauntering through the White House 
grounds and headed for the Mall, when I ventured to remark 
upon the beauties of Washington. How deftly the curbing 
and sidewalks fitted up against the velvety lawns. 

"Ah, there you miss it," corrected the Doctor. "Wash- 
ington's beauty is not of man's making, the trees of Wash- 
ington are her strong point." 

"Oh, well now, Doctor," I retorted, "on that level Chapel 
Hill can put it all over Washington City." 

When spring opened up, I would often go down to Mount 
Vernon and visit the home of Washington. Strolling quietly 
through the gardens, over the sloping lawns, by the slave 
quarters, the kitchen and the carriage house with its queer- 
looking carriage, silent relic of a more restful age, I would 
reach the banks of the noble Potomac and stand uncovered 
at the spot where the Father of his country lies. In that 
sacred presence I could but think of an utterance of a Con- 
federate Brigadier, General Matt Ransom, in an address at 
our University just before the Brothers' War. 

"Secession!" exclaimed Ransom. "It proposes as a remedy 
for evils an evil before which all others sink into insignifi- 



NEW PASTURES GREEN 281 

cance; it suggests as a measure of honor an act which would 
cover the American name with dishonor as long as earth re- 
mains. . . Dismemberment! It would draw a ruthless line 
across the Republic, although it passed over the grave of 
Washington and divided the ashes of the great Father of our 
country." 

I did not often look in on the Supreme Court or Congress, 
having already got enough of courts and politics. But I do 
recall the debate on the Four-Power Pact which President 
Harding and his Secretary of State were laboring to put 
across when Senator John Sharpe Williams turned on his 
Democratic colleagues all of whom, except Underwood, had 
deserted him and exclaimed: 

"Alas, Senators, if this were a Democratic measure you 
would all favor it, unanimously you would be found advocat- 
ing it, but, as it is a Republican bill, you are fighting it." 

Here the speaker paused, and discovered a smile on the 
face of Senator Lodge, who was mildly applauding. "I note 
that the Senator from Massachusetts approves this sentiment," 
said Williams, "and well he may. But, sir, If it were a Demo- 
cratic measure, I fear you and your Republican colleagues 
would be opposing it." And then the great orator sadly con- 
cluded, "Ah, Senators, politics should cease at the water's 
edge." The effect was very fine; it seemed to me, indeed, 
that a Randolph of Roanoke had thrilled the Senate. 

The measure passed Congress by a bare majority, and was 
shortly ratified by representatives of the four great powers 
the occasion being one of the most interesting I ever wit- 
nessed. In my innocency, as I sat in the gallery and looked 
down upon this mission of peace, I thought the world was 
really coming to its senses and that this was the first step to 
put an end to war. But Will Rogers, the cowboy philos- 
opher, seemed to understand these matters better than I. At 
Poli's Theater, the same evening, Will poured ridicule upon 
the entire performance. Impersonating Secretary of State 



282 NEW PASTURES GREEN 

Hughes, and wearing the long whiskers which the Judge then 
affected, Rogers smiled and radiated fun. 

"The Four-Power Pact," he slyly said, "it's all signed up, 
and England gets her slice, and France gets hers, and, er the 
Japs get theirs. And America, well, er she gets the gold pen 
that signed the document! " 

It was my good fortune to witness the dedication of several 
monuments to Lincoln, to Grant, to Dante, and to Ericsson, 
Fully a hundred thousand people must have attended the un- 
veiling of the Lincoln Memorial, the throng covering both 
sides of the lakes. In the midst of the exercises the President 
and Robert Lincoln and other notables were seated on the 
platform, and Taft, Chairman of the Commission, was speak- 
ingan army plane hummed and buzzed overhead, time and 
again dipping down with a fearful roar to the disturbance 
of the audience and the displeasure of President Harding. It 
was said that the thoughtless offender was shortly afterwards 
suspended from office. 

At the Grant ceremony an unusual incident occurred. In 
the midst of the dignified exercises, Julian S. Carr, now fully 
seventy-five and dressed in a new Confederate uniform, be- 
decked with a General's epaulets, dashed forward, unbidden, 
and exclaimed, "Friends and fellow citizens, I cannot let this 1 
great occasion pass without placing a rosebud on the grave 
of Ulysses S. Grant for his magnanimity to Robert E. Lee at 
Appomattox!" 

When the Dante statue was unveiled, Viviani spoke in 
French and I was not scholar enough to follow him. But he 
was such a consummate orator face, eyes, hands, body alive 
with eloquence that I did not need to know what he was 
saying. Viviani's action overcame me. I know no one, with 
the possible exception of Alderman, who equaled Viviani in 
the use of the dramatic in speaking. 

The Ericsson statue was unveiled down on the banks of the 
Potomac, and the cynosure of all eyes was the Crown Prince 



NEW PASTURES GREEN 283 

of Sweden, a descendant of that Bemadotte, who at one time 
was Napoleon's marshal but remained undaunted by the 
Little Corporal. It seemed to me that this handsome, up- 
standing son of Sweden was more impressive and spoke better 
English than oar native Americans. 

One afternoon, alone, I walked out to Rock Creek Ceme- 
tery and wandered within the enclosure of hedges where 
sleeps Mrs. Henry Adams. Seated there and looking upon 
St. Gauden's great creation in marble, which Lady Asquith 
had crossed the Atlantic to gaze upon, I communed with 
myself and bethought me of the vicissitudes of life. A woman 
so refined and cultured, a creature so ethereal and cast in such 
fine clay, that she could not buffet the world about her. 

The art galleries of Washington allured me; every week I 
would go and wonder at the creations of genius. I was 
acquainted with a few of the fine arts. I knew something of 
oratory, of music, and of architecture, but with sculpture and 
painting I was unfamiliar. The opportunity to come under 
their spell awoke tender memories. I was a child again, at 
Windsor Castle. I was a schoolboy. I was a briefless lawyer, 
without money and without clientsanon I had grown to be 
an expert in the profession, a victorious advocate, sweeping 
juries along, and reading my triumph in the faces of the 
rabble. I was defending old man Bob Howell, a brave Con- 
federate, but now a paranoiac overcome by trouble, by sor- 
row, by poverty charged with killing three persons, one of 
whom he scarcely knew. I was coming out of the court- 
house in triumph, having saved the life of this unfortunate 
man, when a venerable, gray-headed negro caught sight of 
me. "Gangway for the Lawyer!" he mumbled. "God, 
didn't he burn the wind!" 

The theaters of Washington were not specially inviting, 
Keith's Vaudeville being the chief attraction. On Saturday 
evenings I usually went around to Keith's, not so much for 
the performance as to witness a curious spectacle. Woodrow 



284 NEW PASTURES GREEN 

Wilson might be seen, dragging Ms broken body along, with 
the aid of an attendant and sundry policemen reaching a seat 
near the door. When the show was over the famous war 
President would hobble out the back way and down the 
elevator to an alley, where his car stood waiting to take him 
out to his home on S Street. 

And as his motor reached the front, under the glare of the 
electric lights, the great man would pull himself together and 
remove his tall hat and smile upon the mob, shouting and 
huzzaing and tossing their sweaty night caps in air. Many 
an evening, as I have stood witnessing this sad spectacle, re- 
flecting that fame is indeed the last infirmity of noble minds, 
I have sighed and thought of the end of the best of us even 
as the immortal Pope we may become a driveler and a show. 

One afternoon I heard Conan Doyle lecture on psychic 
phenomena. A great throng greeted him a heterogeneous 
crowd, mostly people with itching ears long-haired men and 
short-haired women. As for myself, I hid behind a con- 
venient pillar to escape discovery! The lecturer exhibited 
numerous photographs of the human soul, which he called 
ectoplasms, snapshotted as they were leaving the earthly 
tabernacle, in the article of death. The lecturer was dead in 
earnest, so much so as to excite pity* 

A dozen of his near kinspeople, he declared, had perished 
in the World War, leaving sorrow and sadness behind. To 
dispel the gloom, neighbors would gather at his home and 
engage in a service of prayer and song. These meetings 
developed into psychic experiencesthe medium, that is, the 
person contacting the spirits, being a young Welsh collier 
who had labored all the week in the coal mines and served as 
a medium on Sundays. The strength of the lecture consisted 
in proof that many very manylearned men, including the 
President of the British Medical Society, considered psychic 
phenomena an indisputable fact. But after all is said, the 



NEW PASTURES GREEN 285 

address was wholly Inconsequential defective In worthwhile 
material. 

Tills defect the speaker must have appreciated, for he pro- 
ceeded to give, in great detail, a conversation with a dead 
brother-in-law. The spirit was asked why he and other 
spirits, In the other world, did not make themselves known 
to us, left behind on this earth. The spirit replied that they 
were doing their level best along that line but the denizens 
of earth seemed either too dumb or too wicked to catch on. 
The spirit went on to say that this earth of ours is a dull, drab, 
stupid place compared with the spirit land, where there are 
no loud noises, no vulgarity, and where everything is colorful 
and beautiful the music, the painting, the sculpture, and the 
architecture. 

During one of the seances, according to Sir Conan, the 
spirit himself said he would like to ask a question. "How Is 
Sister Mary coming on?" he inquired. 

"Not so well," was the reply. "She is losing her sight." 

"Why not take her to a specialist?" suggested the spirit. 

"We have, but he has failed to help her. Can you aid us 
in this matter?" 

"Yes," said the spirit, "let her go to Stockholm, Sweden* 
and consult the doctor there." 

"Can you give us the doctor's name and his address?" 

"And then," said Sir Conan, very solemnly, "the spirit gave 
us the doctor's name and his office address and we took 
Sister Mary to see him and her sight was restored." 

The lecture had a decided effect upon me; it caused me to 
go over Conan Doyle's writings and reappraise them. Every 
sentence of his now appeared weird and unnatural. I was 
sorry I had heard the inventor of Sherlock Holmes and the 
author of Roimd the Red Lamp in the role of psychiatrist. 
Some day we may be able to draw aside the curtain that 
hides from us the mysteries of life. But not by means of 
cameras and ectoplasms, I apprehend. 



286 NEW PASTURES GREEN 

But after all, the greatest change in my environment was 
in connection with the colored people. Down in my old 
country the Negro "knew his place." He bowed to the Jim 
Crow laws, was content to follow Booker Washington's ad- 
vice: avoid politics, eschew all idea of social equality and 
be a laborer. In Washington, on the other hand, Booker's 
advice was discarded. The Negro was race-conscious and 
had a chip on his shoulder a change which had made him 
less original and less picturesque. Was he more of a man? 
I wondered. 



CHAPTER XXII 
SWITCHING FROM LAW TO LITERATURE 

ONE day I received a letter from Brother George, In retire- 
ment and supported by the Carnegie Foundation. He was 
leaving New York on a visit South and would stop by Wash- 
ington to see me. This was an agreeable surprise, and a most 
enjoyable visit resulted. I found him vigorous in mind and 
buoyant in spirit, but somewhat broken in body. He had 
just passed through a dangerous illness, and while still in bed 
had written me he wished "no family reunions around the 
corpse of the beloved, nor exhibitions of 32 grief, nor any 
other of the pitiful peacockeries usually attending death and 
funerals." 

He and I discussed old times, we talked of Father and 
Mother and of our kinsfolk. Perhaps we were a family with 
a disproportion of intellectual activity, he suggested. It was 
his opinion that if Brother Pat had been reared in an atmos- 
phere of intellectual freedomwhere criticism and independ- 
ence were tolerated he would have accomplished something. 
As for Brother Frank, his conduct of late greatly pleased 
my brother: he had acted wisely when he gave up the fight, 
ceased to oppose the Brigadiers and became one of them. 

Since I last saw him, Brother George and I had grown 
more unlike in our views of life and its problems. He insisted 
that man had come up from a lowly origin, and developed 
of and by himself, until he had attained the dignity of a 
Shakespeare I feeling sure that a self-created creature was an 
impossibility. Yet we were the best of friends. I considered 
him in many respects the most remarkable personality I ever 
encountered. In others he seemed one of the weakest. In 

287 



288 SWITCHING FROM LAW TO LITERATURE 

the facility of seeing a thing clearly and expressing an idea 
vividly, he was unexcelled, and he had the Carlyle gift of 
generalization* 

But he lacked that quality reverence the want of which, 
as he had once declared, was the undoing of the Roman 
people. More than anyone I ever knew he fell into the blunt, 
coarse category of many virile thinkers and assumed that 
wise men might first worship the gods, but they would come 
to the point of making them and of finally despising them. 
And yet the Bible was his vade mecum not as a religious 
guide but as the unvarnished and faithful account of a primi- 
tive race in its struggle up. 

When he would turn some old Bible story into ridicule, 
he was not loud or vulgar at all, he manifested neither anger 
nor malice, nor was he endeavoring to shock people or to 
exploit himself. I may mention an example of this, his in- 
terpretation of the account of Moses meeting the Lord on 
the mount and Jehovah exhibiting his "backsides." This 
incident seemed so unusual that Brother regarded it as apoc- 
ryphal, evidently a joke Moses was getting off one of the 
earliest jokes on record! 

One evening, as we were loitering between the Washing- 
ton Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, discussing the 
problem of creation, I asked Brother how, without the hy- 
pothesis of God, he could explain the existence of matter. 

"That's for you to explain/' he quietly replied. "I found 
matter here wfien I came and that's enough for me," 

In a few days we visited Gettysburg, going first by rail 
to York. On the way I again began to discuss a First Cause. 
I remarked that even Hume, the skeptic, conceded the exist- 
ence of a creator. 

"That is true," Brother answered, "but science was then 
in its infancy, and Hume had not shaken off the shackles of 
Theism and religion. And, as you know, religion is what 
passed for wisdom when the world was young." 



SWITCHING FROM LAW TO LITERATURE 289 

I then suggested a possible analogy between the material 
and the spiritual. Said I, "If one must obey the rules, even 
in material things, to get results, why not in things spiritual?** 

"Explain yourself," said he. 

"You push the button and the electric light comes on 
you push the door knob and get no light." 

"Ha! Ha!" he laughed. "There you go again, Robert! 
Always superstitious always afraid the whang-doodle will 
whang. Mankind is a surging, irresistible mass, roaring on- 
ward and upward, and all your incantations and all your 
prayers avail nothing to advance or hinder." Then, after a 
pause, he continued, "Here we are on the cars, both of us 
bound for York, both in the same case, but you imagine you 
won't get there unless you fall down on your knees and 
humble yourself and mumble something; I know better, I sit 
quietly in my seat, and the same train that lands you lands 



me." 



Despite this materialistic side to Brother's character, he was 
tender, just, considerate, loving the whole human race, not 
any one man but all men, feeling that no person could be 
happy unless all are happy. It was this manifestation of the 
fruits of the spirit that caused Sister and me to regard our 
brother as highly spiritual, indeed, the very best Christian in 
the family. 

1 As we drew near the battlefield of Gettysburg our thoughts 
turned to the part our kinspeople had played in that history- 
making struggle. We entered the battlefield on the Cash 
Town Road, and as we moved along with the map before us, 
we noted the historic points, Willoughby Run, Seminary 
Ridge, and the Emmitsburg Road. We passed through the 
village of Gettysburg and the Cemetery, and as we scaled 
steep and rocky Gulp's Hill we got a glimpse of the entire 
terrain. 

We could hear the rebel yell, as the gallant foe fell back 
in retreat; we heard the notes of an undaunted Confederate 



290 SWITCHING FROM LAW TO LITERATURE 

band, playing lively music amidst the cannon's roar. We 
caught sight of the very spot where Colonel Avery, though 
dying, managed to scrawl upon an envelope those brave 
words, "Tell Father I die with my face to the foe." And 
we could see, at the end of the struggle, our uncle footsore 
and bloody as he came out bearing the Company's flag and 
leaving more than ninety per cent of his men dead or lost 
upon the field. 

Since I last saw Brother he had not extended the scope of 
his reading; he was content with the sciences and the Bible, 
Shakespeare, Scott and Macaulay. He was never interested 
in philosophy or psychology intellectual trifles, he consid- 
ered them. Biologist, lover of astronomy and geology, he 
was scornful of the intimations of fancy. At this point I 
diif ered from him. It seemed to me that the practical often 
went into bankruptcy a fact which the sad fate of Thomas 
Gradgrind and Josiah Bounderby illustrated. 

Before coming to Washington I had been a reader of the 
English classics, nor had I entirely forgotten my Latin. A 
few years prior to the time I left the South, my college mate 
Peele had died, and just before then I called at his home 
and was seated by his bedside, when he turned and said, with 
his last breath, "Robert, I am passing away and before I go 
I wish to leave you my most valued possession." Feebly, he 
then reached under the cover 4 and pulled out a well-worn 
copy of Juvenal, with the Latin on one page and the English 
on the opposite. "Take this," he whispered, "and at your 
death pass it on to your oldest son the son of our class." 
This manifestation of affection so moved me that I read 
Juvenal until I could almost repeat the tenth satire by heart. 

I have discovered, indeed, that this satire appeals to scholars, 
due no doubt to the fact that they, like Juvenal, must contend 
with poverty, Res angusta domi, making it difficult for them 
to emerge Hand -facile emergtmt. Rarely did I meet with 
Bishop Cheshire himself not a Croesus by any meanswith- 



SWITCHING FROM LAW TO LITERATURE 291 

out snappy quotations from Juvenal passing between us, espe- 
cially the well-known, Vacuus viator apud latronem cmtabit 
"The empty-handed traveler will laugh in the very den 
of the robber!" And just here I may add that the Bishop 
was an excellent critic; he rated Lycidas as the grandest out- 
burst of sustained sorrow in our language. 

Now much of poetry and of allegorical prose was lost on 
me. I would take down from the shelf Browning's Sordello 
or Hardy's Dynasts or Meredith's Shaving of Shagpat, or 
Carlyle's Sartor Resartus, and whip myself to read them, but 
would stall before half way through. After a while, however, 
I discovered a way to overcome this handicap. Before under- 
taking one of these difficult productions, I would post myself 
on the author's idea. What occasioned the writing, was it a 
problem-theme or a skit of fancy? Did war, or pestilence, 
or injustice call it forth? To be more specific, I purchased 
a set of books which greatly benefited me. Lafcadio Hearn's 
Interpretations of Literature is juvenile and beneath the notice 
of experts, but it took me behind the scenes, and in plain 
language made me understand what the writers had in mind* 

Until I read the Interpretations, I am sure the Grecian Urn 
meant little to me. It was pretty and graceful, but did not 
convey the great thought in the poet's mind. I did not realize 
that "this festive child of Silence and slow Time" had a uni- 
versal appeal the pursuit, but the failure to attain. Again, 
when I had read the Shaving of Shagpat it seemed but Greek. 
Hearn's interpretation of the allegory was an Open Sesame. 
So saturated was I with the thought of removing prejudice 
and intolerance, of shaving old Shagpat, that I wrote several 
articles and made numerous speeches on the subject. 

But, hitherto, I had been a reader, not a writer. Though 
I had undertaken the task of writing, I had not succeeded. 
Barrett Wendell's stimulating work, English Composition, 
had interested me, because it taught that diagrams and me- 
chanical rules dry up inspiration, and it insisted upon the 



292 SWITCHING FROM LAW TO LITERATURE 

necessity of a study of the masters, the practice of writing, 
and an observance of the rules of composition. But despite 
my study of Wendell, I was unable to write. This defect 
was manifest while I was a lawyer and undertook to express 
myself on any subject except the law. 

On the occasion of McKinley's death, John S. Bassett and 
I addressed Duke University, but my effort was a half-baked 
affair. Totality of conception was lacking and there were 
many purple patches. So again, when Roscoe Pound and I 
spoke to the Bar Association of South Carolina, my discourse 
was feeble more rhetorical than suggestive. 1 As President 
of the Historical Society I once made a plea for a larger state 
pride and had many good thoughts in my paper, but there 
was a self -consciousness about it and a clicking together of 
the heels which offended good taste. 

My address on Ransom, before the legislature, presenting 
a marble bust of the General, was prepared with much feeling 
and was in fact the first attempt of any writer to do justice 
to the old Union-loving Southerner. But it scattered it fell 
under the condemnation of Colonel Tom Fuller. "The law- 
yer," said the Colonel, "shoots a rifle ball and hits the black, 
the stump speaker rams his shot and scatters all over the barn 
door!" 

From this casual reference to my ventures into the realm 
of letters it may appear that I always had an itch for writing. 
And this is true. Though my ambitions had been numerous, 
literature was one of them. The thirst had languished, no 
doubt, but the smoking flax had not been quenched. Perhaps 
the impulse was a subconscious one, and yet the subconscious 
is often more powerful than the conscious. At 'Sconset I 
once heard Floyd Dell elaborate this idea, adding that it is 

1 After Dean Pound had spoken on the modern concept of law not a 
mere rule of action but unity I made quite a break by remarking to him 
that he had undoubtedly been reading Cardozo's new book, The 'Nature 
of the Judicial Process. "Quite otherwise," was the dry reply. "Cardozo 
has been reading me*" 



SWITCHING FROM LAW TO LITERATURE 293 

impossible to interest anyone in any thing in which one is 
not already interested, either consciously or otherwise. 

Because of my subconscious flare for literature it was not 
difficult for me to switch to it from the law. And yet a Eon 
stood in my path a lack of training. I could write a lawyer's 
brief. I could iterate and reiterate, I knew my saids and 
aforesaids, my declarations, pleas, replications, rejoinders and 
surrejoinders, my rebutters and surrebutters. I could be as 
dull and prolix as the dullest black-letter lawyer always 
endeavoring to prove something but this was the very oppo- 
site of literature. 

Now when the thought of the reach of authorship burst 
upon me, it swept me along. I began to realize that the 
writers, rather than others, accomplished something and sur- 
vived the test of time. One morning, in St. John's Church, 
the choir sang "Rock of Ages," and as I listened to Toplady's 
simple lines I concluded that they would outlive the glory 
of all the politicians. I do not think this feeling of mine was 
wholly selfish. I am sure, in part, it was altruistic. I was 
desirous, though in a feeble way, to serve mankind. 

It was while these fanciful ideas were playing with me that 
an opportunity to write something presented itself. Just then 
Ernest Gruening was inviting essays on the subject of the 
states of the Union, to be first published in the Nation and 
then to appear in book form, each chapter to contain about 
12,000 words. After some correspondence, I undertook the 
task of preparing the chapter on my state Gruening en- 
couraging me with the statement that a dozen writers had 
failed to come up to the requirements! The plan of the 
work was to pluck out the heart of each commonwealth, 
using new and fresh material, and wholly omitting generali- 
ties. "Pick out two or three strong men, men who have 
made the new state of North Carolina," said Gruening, "and 
go to it. Tell how they did it! " 

After a month of labor I evolved the article and sent it 



294 SWITCHING FROM LAW TO LITERATURE 

on to the compiler. In short order It came back, with the 
comment that the first half was fairly good, the second, 
abominable! This criticism was rough, but encouraging, and 
I went at my task again with a vim. In a few weeks the 
corrected article was again on the editor's desk. But it too came 
back, and this time Gruening fairly exploded. "The thing 
is lacking in totality, it gets nowhere," he wrote, "Really 
worse, much worse, than the first." Now, though this lan- 
guage was harsh, and Gruening seemed to be treating me 
"like a damn sophomore" and I old enough to be his grand- 
fatherI did not lose my temper. I went to work on It as 
before. 

But, I had lost confidence in myself, and had become be- 
fogged, as Judge Shipp used to remark when a new point of 
evidence was sprung and he adjourned court to look up the 
law! The more I wrote the less I seemed to say. Just then, 
however, a bright thought popped into my head. I would 
run down South and get the crack reporter of my state to 
round out the article. Accordingly, in a few weeks, the 
revised and corrected bit of literature was speeding on its 
third voyage to New York. It met the fate of its predeces- 
sors, and was soon back on my desk. This time it was chucked 
away in a pigeon-hole and there it remained the live-long 
summer and well into the fall. 

The summer season in Washington is not pleasant and to 
escape the heat I would visit New England, sometimes going 
to the Berkshire Hills or the Green Mountains, sometimes 
to the lakes of New Hampshire or to 'Sconset on Nantucket 
Island. My first visit, north of New York, was to Wood- 
stock, Vermont. I had heard much of the beauty of New 
England villages, and of their tidiness. Woodstock measured 
up to this praise. The Woodstock Inn and the homes of the 
Billingses, the Baileys, the Alba Johnstons and the Dreers 
were hospitable to a degree. 

In about thirty days the reticence of New Englanders 



SWITCHING FROM LAW TO LITERATURE 295 

seemed to wear off and I felt quite at home. Indeed I agreed 
with Wirt, the Baltimore attorney, in a letter to a friend in 
the South, written from Boston. "There is no difference 
between the good people of Richmond and the good people 
of Boston," wrote Wirt. 

I recall a sermon that interested me, it being so different 
from the usual orthodox Southern discourses. It was presented 
by a bright young scholar, a Unitarian, and in the Old White 
Church. His text, or subject, was the personality of Jesus, 
but he soon left the text and switched off to Shelley. It was 
the poet's birthday, as I remember, and the young speaker 
seemed inspired as he traced the analogy between him and 
Christ the love of each for mankind, and their generosity 
and kindliness. All of which was quite shocking to one who, 
like myself, imagined that an author's worth depended upon 
his character and that "by their fruits ye shall know them." 
At that time indeed I did not appreciate Shelley; I could but 
think of his deserted wife, big with child, and he running 
off with another woman. 

After I had been in Woodstock two or three months and 
met visitors, natives, shopkeepers, and laborers, I became 
interested in them, as they seemed to be in me. The women 
of Vermont asked me to talk to them and to select some 
subject distinctively Southern. I chose as my theme General 
Lee and, for an hour, pictured the horrors of Reconstruction, 
the suffering and poverty of our people, and the part which 
the General played in our upbuilding. 

"But we bore it all bore it without whimpering," I said. 
"And we came out triumphant our pillar of fire by night, 
our pillar of cloud by day, Robert E. Lee." I made a strong 
plea for brotherly love. I urged the women to study the 
life and character of Lee and I assured them they would dis- 
cover one of the most Christ-like of men. Our meeting was 
held in the reception rooms of the spacious Bailey home, 
Mrs. Bailey having been born a Paige, in old Virginia. Her 



296 SWITCHING FROM LAW TO LITERATURE 

husband was a typically strong, unemotional and splendid 
Vermonter. When I had finished my remarks, Mrs. Bailey 
came up and took me aside and clasped both my hands in 
hers and thanked me from the bottom of her heart. With 
the deepest emotion she said, "Until today my Vermont 
neighbors had never heard our side of the story." 

When the cold September nights came and a touch of frost 
was in the air, I bade adieu to my New England friends- 
including two visitors with whom I had played many a game 
of golf, the Dana brothers, one a New York neurologist, the 
other the librarian at Trenton and returned to my home at 
the Cosmos Club. 

Some months later I was packing up and getting ready to 
visit relatives down South, when my eyes fell upon the manu- 
script which had given me so much trouble poor, despised, 
rejected thing! By mere chance I picked it up, dropped it 
in my bag, and took it along with me, and one day, when 
Louis Graves, editor of the Chapel Hill Weekly, was calling, 
I took out the manuscript. 

"Louis," said I, "read this thing over and tell me if I shall 
chuck it in the fire." In a short time the article, revamped, 
was back in my hands, and when I read it I could not believe 
my eyes. Louis had cut out a dull sentence here, had added 
a line there, had wiped out all preachments, had lightened 
the thing up with an appropriate story or two, and made 
such a readable thing of it that I did not recognize it. 

In due course the mail brought a check for my first literary 
effort, whose chief merit, I fear, was its subtitle, "North 
Carolina a Militant Mediocracy." With the remittance 
came a letter from Gruening stating that the article at last 
measured up to the other forty-seven. But my ardor to 
become a writer was considerably cooled, so much so that I 
almost abandoned the idea, realizing it would take years of 
training to transform a lawyer, "sot in his ways," into an 
author. 



SWITCHING FROM LAW TO LITERATURE 297 

The repercussion from this, my first production, after it 
appeared in the Nation, was interesting. People of the old 
school, who set store by ancestry, were horrified at the sub- 
title and the word mediocracy; but the newer element col- 
lege boys and girls speciallywere pleased at my frankness. 
The article had featured five representative North Caro- 
linians Aycock, Page, Clark, Daniels, and Duke paying spe- 
cial attention to Clark and Daniels. 

Clark's well-known lawlessness and violations of judicial 
propriety were laid bare, but he was given credit for being 
a friend of the laborer. Daniels was depicted as a strict party 
man, a Wet or a Dry, as occasion required a trust-buster 
or a trust advocate, according as Bryan or Davis was the 
candidate for President. Whereupon each one reacted in a 
characteristic manner. 

Clark wrote a letter of thanks saying he was proud to be 
what I had said he was. Daniels made no answer, but called 
up his friend, Frank Winston, urging him to reply, thus seek- 
ing to set brother against brother and to turn the whole thing 
into ridicule. Brother declined this request, of course, 
though he and the balance of us stood in wholesome dread of 
the Old Reliable Chief Justice Smith once remarking to his 
associates, as he read them the court's opinion in an important 
public matter, deciding the case contrary to popular demand, 
"Well, brethren, here it is, but we haven't heard from the 
News and Observer yet!" 

Referring to my article, as it appears in the book called 
These United States, it will be seen I had been brash enough 
to suggest that our great Democratic leader, Josephus, was 
so partisan that he was seeing things. He had charged the 
Republican party with unspeakable wickedness: it had taken 
the laurels of discovering the North Pole from Cook, the 
Democrat, and given them to Peary, the Republican! It was 
trying to remove the monument of Andrew Jackson, founder 
of the Democratic party, from its conspicuous place, in front 



298 SWITCHING FROM LAW TO LITERATURE 

of the White House, to an obscure corner of the city! As 
to the Rockefeller Foundation it was a willful and delib- 
erate maligner of the Southspending millions of dollars to 
get rid of imaginary hookworms, a disease that did not exist, 
the Southern people being as healthy and vigorous as any! 
Such men as Professor John Spencer Bassett, of Trinity Col- 
lege, proclaiming Booker Washington the greatest Southerner 
next to General Washington and Robert E. Leewhy they 
should be run out of the South! "Trinity" (now Duke), 
roared Daniels, "must rid itself of Bassett or it must perish." 

At this time my contract of employment had been canceled, 
at my urgent solicitation, and I was free to go or do as I 
chose. Singularly enough, \ concluded to go back to my 
old college at Chapel HflL Why I should have done this I 
am unable to say. Perhaps it was the lure of the Old South. 
No doubt I was seeking a hobby something with which to 
amuse myself in old age. I may have been longing to discover 
how far scientific and religious knowledge had advanced 
since I was graduated forty-odd years before. 

Whatever the reason, I did actually leave the Cosmos and 
return to Chapel Hill. I matriculated and became a freshman 
again at sixty, to the amusement of faculty, students, and 
friends. In fact the boys were soon whistling, tum-te-tump, 
to my step as I crossed the campus, and Harry Chase, the 
President, had entered into the sport and was summoning 
me before the faculty for flunking a class, and the Zeta Psis 
had installed me and had me riding the goat the same my 
two fine boys had ridden years before! 



CHAPTER XXIII 
"HAVE YOU NO IDEALS?" 

THE first summer after I had re-entered the University was 
spent at Wiliiamstown, Massachusetts, where I attended the 
Institute of Politics and enrolled at the Round Table called 
the Road to Plenty. My experiences at this Table were not 
entirely satisfactory. It saddened me to sit for weeks and 
listen to the over-zealous instructors expound their theories 
and insist that there was no limit to business expansion. 
America's stocks and bonds and other securities were abso- 
lutely safe. 

And yet, at that moment, the gigantic boom was beginning 
to sweep over the United States. Corporations were splitting 
stocks ten for one, giving extras of one hundred per cent; 
typewriter girls and elevator boys were quitting work to hang 
around stock brokers' offices; and legitimate business was at 
a discount. America in a fool's paradise. It was during this 
feverish rush for money that our professor rose and said, 
"There can never be another panic, nor a money scarcity. 
As for unemployment, it is simply impossible a thing of the 
past. The national and state governments will co-operate 
with the corporations to prevent those evils." 

In fat years, as the professor asserted, the corporations 
would set aside enough money to tide over the laborers 
through lean years. Moreover, during the lean years, the 
Government would undertake public improvements, such as 
road building, construction of bridges and houses, so that 
everyone would be employed and no one idle. Nor was 
there the least danger of over-production. The laws of 
business would see to that. If old enterprises should fail, new 

299 



300 "HAVE YOU NO IDEALS?" 

ones would start up. The airplane was just in its infancy. 
Suppose the railroad should lose out, why, the development 
of air machines would require more employees than the 
country could supply. In fact the only hindrance to business 
was the Government. The policy of the President in raising 
the rate of interest so high as to shut out the average man 
from dealing in stocks on a margin, this had been, and con- 
tinued to be, the only cloud in the business sky! 

Now, one day this director of our Round Table was 
absent and I rose and expressed a decided dissent to his rosy 
views. Though I was a tyro in stocks, I knew enough to 
conclude that no corporation could be worth so much more 
than the assets behind it. A stock selling at many times its 
book value was not only inflated, but must collapse. "Amer- 
ica is riding for a fall," I boldly declared. But I made little 
impression on my hearers, though Governor Brewster of 
Maine and other wise men confronted me. 

Sometime after this event, I was at Clifton Springs, New 
York, and a masseur was giving me a treatment. I found 
him well educated, a man of varied experience a son devoted 
to his father and mother in far-away Sweden. He had saved 
up twenty-five hundred dollars, he told me, and was getting 
ready to return to his old home and gladden the hearts of his 
parents. But the home journey did not materialize; the poor 
fellow lost every penny he had saved. As he told the story, 
he was treating a New York stock broker, who continuously 
boosted the stock of the Shenandoah Company. 

"This man gave me a tip," said my masseur. "He told me 
to put up all my money, on margin, and buy $10,000 of the 
stock and I would soon be rich. I put up my earnings and, 
in a few months, was sold out." The masseur gave me the 
name of the broker who had tipped him and I noted a resem- 
blance between it and one of the directors of our Road-to- 
Plenty Round Table. 

Undoubtedly, the course in logic was making me observant 



"HAVE YOU NO IDEALS? " 301 

and critical. Perhaps, I was beginning to think things 
through, to form concepts. Probably I was becoming a 
nuisance! Certainly President Garfield, of Williams, must 
have considered me a mere busy-body. During the summer, 
the Institute of Politics had arranged a discussion of European 
affairs by three experts, Count Kistler, formerly a member 
of the staff of Emperor William; Abbe Dimnet of Paris, and 
Gregg of London. With great interest, I sat and heard 
every one of these addresses, twenty or thirty in all. So 
deeply impressed was I that I formed certain conclusions as 
to the manner of untangling Europe. 

These views I put in writing. They were as follows: 
America's debts against European nations should be canceled, 
provided the debts of such nations among themselves except 
Germany's debt to France should likewise be canceled; the 
Corridor which divides German territory should be obliter- 
ated; the clause of the Versailles Treaty denouncing Ger- 
many as the sole cause of the war should be stricken out; 
and, finally, the integrity of the Rhineland should be pro- 
tectedguaranteed from invasion by England and France. 

After I had drawn up this paper I submitted it to the three 
lecturers and they, each for himself, read it with care, made 
certain corrections, and approved, as far as they had the 
power, assuring me that their respective countries would be 
pleased if the plan could be carried out. I then bethought 
myself of the wonderfully intelligent and patriotic women 
who had been attending the Institute some two hundred of 
them and I resolved to get their co-operation. 

Accordingly, a meeting of a score or more of these women 
was held at the Inn and we discussed the paper, up one side 
and down another. In my enthusiastic manner, I insisted that 
the sessions had been so useful that they should not end with- 
out an endorsement by us and appropriate resolutions. I 
urged that a public gathering of the members of the Institute 
be called and the resolutions discussed and adopted and given 



302 "HAVE YOU NO IDEALS?'' 

out to the world. My enthusiasm was contagious. The 
women, without dissent, were aroused: one, from Boston, 
agreed to take a copy and go over to London and present 
it to the British Government. Another, from New York, 
would cheerfully act as agent and present the resolutions to 
the Qua! D'Orsay. I was designated to confer with the State 
Department at Washington. But, at this stage, a discreet 
woman spoke up and said, 

"Do you not think we should first consult President Gar- 
field?" 

"Why, no," I replied. "Let's go ahead, regardless." 

But the women, very wisely, overruled me and I was dele- 
gated to confer with Garfield and get his consent. I found 
my distinguished friend in hearty accord with us, indeed, I 
might say, enthusiastic. "But," said he, "the policy of the 
Institute is to discuss matters, not to decide them." And so 
our concept blew up. Our dream of untangling Europe 
vanished! 

I may add that as I passed through New York, on my way 
South, I called at the offices of the leading magazines and 
showed my paper to the editors and discussed the little whimsy 
with them. I found them as much interested as Harry Gar- 
field. But they declared they could not publish anything 
advocating a cancellation of debts the people simply would 
not stand for anything of the kind. The article finally 
appeared in Christian Science Monitor, of October i, 1924. 

I have said that my experiences at the Round Table were 
not satisfactory. But this statement does not apply to Wil- 
liams College, nor the lovely little village, nor its hospitable 
people. The President's home welcomed me; the college 
library was my delight. Morton, of the school of philosophy, 
and Banks, the village poet, and I roamed the hills together, 
discussing literature and politics, contrasting the birds of New 
England with the birds of the South, and I, amusing them 
with stories of Negro life. 



"HAVE YOU NO IDEALS?" 303 

At the home of E. Parmele Prentice, each Saturday after- 
noon, a concert would be given, artists of renown appearing, 
accompanied by the wonderful organ which covered an entire 
side of the residence. The choicest spirits of the Institute and 
of the communityoften two or three hundred would at- 
tend these splendid concerts. That unique residence is situ- 
ated on an eminence, in the center of an estate of several 
thousand acres, with hundreds of expert laborers engaged in 
demonstrating Prentice's pet theory that the personal equation 
of an animal is rather to be considered than its pedigree. 

On one of the many trips which I enjoyed with Mr. Pren- 
ticethis time up to Burlington, Vermont M. Siegfried and 
Madame Siegfried, accompanied us. The cultured author of 
America Comes of Age was a most interesting companion* 
He was afraid of America, afraid of her size and rapid devel- 
opment. Though he admired his own people designating 
France as a nation of artisans and America as a nation of 
machine operators he criticized his country, declaring that 
she had wasted great sums of money on cathedrals and monu- 
ments and other works of art. As we were passing a large, 
reddish, unsightly Vermont barn, he pointed and said, "Why, 
that building is quite sufficient as a place of worship for any 
people." 

Early in the fall I was in Chapel Hill again and keen to go 
on with my studies, which now included Croce's Philosophy 
of History. As for logic, I must admit I was disappointed 
to find that philosophy is not, in any sense, religion or an 
approach to religion. Logic may supply one with a kit of 
tools. Logic is indispensable to the debater, to the writer, 
and to the orator, but logic is the science of thought, not of 
religion. Though I enjoyed the philosophers, and read with 
interest the writings of the Harvard prof essors James, Royce, 
Santayana, Whitehead I considered them infants crying in 
the night, as ignorant of the mysteries of life as Solomon or 
Moses thousands of years ago. 



304 "HAVE YOU NO IDEALS?" 

When Bergson saw life as the elan vital, was he not defining 
life in Its own terms, like a cat chasing its tail? Kant's cate- 
gorical imperative, what is that catchy phrase but a succinct 
statement of man's instinct to develop? Darwin's theory of 
the survival of the fittest is now smothered by exceptions. 
Well do I remember the day I first tackled Leibnitz's attrac- 
tive little treatise, called Monadology. 

It was a warm, February afternoon and I had gone down 
to a place, near the village, called the Meeting of Waters, and 
taken a seat on the moss-covered stones of an old tumbled- 
down negro cabin. A Carolina wren was filling the woods 
with his rotary notes, the soft grass was beginning to carpet 
the meadow. Here and there quaker-ladies were showing 
their tiny, bluish heads. Filled with the inspiration of the 
scene, I opened my book and began to read, becoming en- 
tranced at the thought that what I had been calling matter 
was not matter at all. It was energy, an immaterial some- 
thing; each particle of matter, millions of monads, and God 
in every one of them. Presently I finished the text and was 
hastening to the conclusion. I longed for something tangible, 
something definite but I found none. Would not learned 
philosophers do well to imitate the bewildered Kant and 
candidly admit that "while we do not comprehend our the- 
ory, we can yet comprehend its incomprehensibility! " 

Herbert Spencer's First Principles always had attracted 
Brother George, furnishing, as he thought, an explanation of 
the problems of life. But to me, Spencer was a superficial 
egotist, one who dogmatically denied that which he could 
not perceive or understand. In truth, my opinion of Spen- 
cer's synthetic philosophy was that of the learned, common- 
sense Richard Potter. "Won't work, my dear Spencer. 
Won't work," said Potter to the professional doubter defi- 
antly proclaiming his practice, on a Sunday morning, of de- 
liberately walking against the tide of church-goers. 

The words of the philosophers, though they filled the 



"HAVE YOU NO IDEALS?" 305 

month, did not intrigue me, I came to know something about 
ontology and entelechy and epistemology, and stoicism and 
the rest. But, after all, they were words, words, words I 
could get some sense out of the writings of King David and 
the Apostle Paul and the Evangelist Luke. I thought I under- 
stood what Paul was driving at when he said, "Though I 
speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not 
love I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal." 
That statement was plain. It implied that life without kind- 
ness, without forgiveness, without love, was hollow and 
empty. And this was but another way of saying what the 
prophet long before had said. All that God requires of us is 
"to love mercy and to do justly and to walk humbly with 
thy God." The language of philosophy was not so stimulat- 
ing as that, nor was it nearly so simple. 

Perhaps the most interesting of summers was the one spent 
at 'Sconset, on Nantucket Island, with Fred Howe's School 
of Opinion. There I had many new experiences: Two and 
a half months of unbridled discussion about art and religion 
and psychology and biology. Many notable scholars were 
in attendance: Sinclair Lewis and his handsome first wife; 
Kellen and Mayo, psychiatrists; Floyd Dell and Bruce Bliven 
and James Harvey Robinson. There too were Fred Howe, 
George Middleton and Dr. Lull. Each afternoon, the Isadora 
Duncan dancers would give an exhibition, barefoot on the 
greensward. Just down the beach, crowds of men and 
women, naked as an unfledged jaybird, were disporting them- 
selves in the briny deep the exact environment to pull me up 
out of my shell of provincialism! 

Soon after the school opened I asked Editor Bliven what 
was the objective of the New Republic. He replied that the 
magazine had no objective. 

"Have you no ideals?" I inquired. 

"None," he answered. "We do well to interpret the day's 
news." 



306 "HAVE YOU NO IDEALS?" 

And this statement characterized the School of Opinion 
throughout. The wise men there assembled looked upon the 
human family as an unwieldy, unknown and unknowable 
animal, evolved from mud and mire, red in tooth and claw, 
and going somewhere, whither no one knew. Hence, they 
seemed to ask, "What's the nsecarpe diem" l 

At one meeting I broke the spell of materialism. I referred 
to the ultimate and the absolute and suggested an approach 
through the intellectual process, as explained by philosophy. 

"Philosophy!" Middleton sniifed. "What can philosophy 
teach? Illustrate your precious absolute." 

"Well," said I, "suppose you take the Sermon on the Mount 



as a starter." 



One evening I spoke on the Negro question, and, to my 
surprise, a score of the waiters, porters and chauffeurs, mostly 
residents of Central America and the Caribbean Islands, lined 
the steps and filled the rear benches. In plain words I told 
of the Southern Negro, who had all advantages except man- 
hood rights in other words, was a serf. "If I were a negro," 
I said, "I would demand of the United States all my rights, 
under the Constitution, unless given a home for my race a 
real Fatherland." 

I then went on to say that Southern whites could not fully 
develop, nor could Southern blacks, until a separation took 
place. We were separate races and amalgamation was not to 
be thought of for one moment. Now, in the audience, there 
were a great many extra-liberal women, some of them 
hecklers. One of the latter spoke up and asked: 

"Why do you say amalgamation is impossible? What's the 
objection to rny marrying a colored man if I choose?" 

"None," I said. "It's all a matter of taste." 

Another person in the audience wished to know if Southern 
negroes voted. 

"No," I replied, "they do not." 



"HAVE YOU NO IDEALS?" 307 

"Well, do yon think it fair to use negroes to swell the 
Southern vote in the Electoral College?" 

"I do not." 

My candor seemed to impress the hearers. At all events it 
put an end to interruptions and I concluded by saying that 
my labors to settle the Negro issue were not so much to help 
that race as iny own. I insisted that the white people of the 
South could never attain their rightful place in the Nation 
so long as the negroes were astride their backs. Now, in 
making this speech, I had referred to an article I had written 
for Cwrrent History, and which I held in my hand. The 
article was called the "Rebirth of the South." When I had 
finished and was leaving the hall, an educated negro ap- 
proached and asked me to lend him the magazine. I com- 
plied, and the negroes took the article and read and reread it, 
keeping it a full week, and assuring me it met their approval. 

Just before Labor Day I left the Island, where I had been 
so greatly benefited, and went up to Boston. I was desirous 
of visiting the scenes associated with Longfellow, Hawthorne, 
Emerson, Thoreau, and Holmes. I wished also to lay eyes 
on Faneuil Hall and Plymouth Rock and the Bridge where 
the shot was fired heard round the world. I was specially 
anxious to go through the Harvard campus the only spot in 
the North liberal enough in 1867 to keep its head and tele- 
graph congratulations to President * Johnson on his acquittal 
of high crimes and misdemeanors. Of course I inspected St. 
Gauden's monument to Colonel Shaw, who had been killed 
in battle leading a negro regiment against the city of Charles- 
ton, and whose dead body, unmarked and unidentified, had 
been tossed into a pit with hundreds of dead negro soldiers 

1 1 saw something of Dr. Eliot, the famous liberal. I heard him deliver 
several addresses. Once at a Phi Beta Kappa banquet President Winston 
responded to the toast "Harvard" and acclaimed its liberalityevery nation, 
every race, without regard to creed or color, finding a welcome at Har- 
vard. Replying, President Eliot thanked the speaker and added that he 
had limited the scope of Harvard University. "Not only a brother to 
every human being but to every creature that breathes and lives." 



308 "HAVE YOU NO IDEALS?' 7 

so great was the scorn and contempt he had excited in the 
breasts of his foe. 

As I sat, gazing at the Shaw monument, my mind turned 
to the subject of the Civil War and the manner in which 
North and South, alike, had kept alive sectional bitterness. 
Washington, as I knew, was filled with memorials of this 
kind, and so were Richmond and the state of Virginia, and 
almost all the other states. After I arrived in Washington I 
went around to the Library of Congress and had a conversa- 
tion with the librarian. I asked if America was not the only 
nation on earth so silly as deliberately to perpetuate dissension 
and internal strife. 

The librarian was not sure on this point, but said he would 
investigate and let me know. In a few days I received a 
report from an expert in the library. It confirmed my con- 
jectures. The United States of America, alone among na- 
tions, is so unpatriotic as to keep alive internal discord. 
Nowhere in England, nowhere in France, not in Italy, not 
in Germany, not in Austria, nowhere in all the round world, 
except in, "the land of the free and the home of the brave" 
are there monuments erected on Civil War battlefields. 

Long before the coming of Christ three hundred and fifty 
years before the Christian era the Greeks were agitating a 
Confederation, and a question, similar to the one we are now 
considering, arose. "Should Civil War memories be pre- 
served, in the new Confederation?" The answer was in the 
negative. It was unanimously determined that no state should 
be permitted to enter the Confederation until it had destroyed 
all books, all papers, all documents, all markers, which re- 
flected, in any manner, upon a sister state. 2 

2 1 once heard a great teacher of sociology Southern bred for a hundred 
years declare that Civil War monuments in the South were almost fatal 
to progress or change. "Young men reach our college," said he, "filled 
with the glory of the Confederate cause. They really imagine that the 
South won the war; a thousand monuments proclaim this fact monuments 
which perpetuate class distinctions, retard growth of liberalism and glorify 
war. Why, it requires four years to eradicate such antediluvian notions." 



"HAVE YOU NO IDEALS?" 309 

In this connection I reflected that nowhere in America to- 
day is there a great national peace memorial a monument 
to commemorate the end of civil strife and the burial of the 
guns. So far as I know there is no such monument. Is it 
not high time America gave thought to this matter? Un- 
doubtedly, some time in the future a marvelous, universal 
peace memorial will be erected. Not to Sherman, not to 
Johnston, but to the angel with healing in his wings. And 
what spot more suitable than the Bennett Place at Durham, 
North Carolina? There, two weeks after Appomattox, John- 
ston surrendered forty thousand troops to Sherman, with 
twice that number the last organized armies to stand face to 
face on the American continent. The Bennett Place, there- 
fore, was the scene of one of the most important events in all 
history. 

There the great Brothers' War came to an end. There the 
battle-flag was furled, and there a peace monument should 
commemorate the end of fratricidal strife. And what place 
more appropriate than the Old North State, which never had 
in her borders a wild, unbridled son, like the great McDuffie, 
to exclaim, "When I hear a Southern man cry, 'This Glorious 
Union,' methinks I snuff treason in the tainted gale." 

On my way to Chapel Hill I stopped off at Sister's, and 
while I was visiting her news came from Spokane that Brother 
Patrick had passed away. Naturally our thoughts turned to 
him, as they wandered back over the twenty-five years he 
had spent an exile in a far-away state, but always with visions, 
like those of the great Napoleon, of his native land. We 
spoke of his impulsive nature, his tender heart, his generosity 
and liberality, his attachment to Windsor Castle. I recalled 
a little incident when I was a child and he on a visit home. 
I remembered that he called me Robert le Diable! And, in 
the most affectionate manner, threw his arms about me and 
exclaimed, "Robert, toi que j'aime!" 



310 "HAVE YOU NO IDEALS?" 

Sister referred to his love of the Christmas season, with 
its rich memories. Said she: 

"Did you read his recent tribute to Christinas in old 
Bertie?" 

"No, 3 ' said I, "and have you the article?" 

Sister then took down a file of Winston's Weekly which 
she had carefully preserved, and read: 

CHRISTMAS 

"Next Friday wiU be Christmas. 

"No other day recalls so many sweet memories. As I 
think of it the past comes back to me like a happy dream. 
I am once more a child, I see the face of my father, I hear 
his voice. I see mother, her face is aglow with the light of 
love. 

"The well-filled stocking hangs by the chimney corner. 
The first light of a soft Southern Christmas morning is creep- 
ing through the window blinds. I hear the stealthy footsteps 
of the house servants as they creep to the door to 'catch' old 
master's 'Christmas gift.' 

" 'Christmas gift, Master Christmas gift, Master.* I hear 
them now. 

"I see the village church above whose simple altar were in- 
scribed in letters made of Southern foliage the words: 

" 'Unto Us a Son is Born.' 

"I behold the faces of the little congregation radiant with 
the spirit of Christmas, so many of them bound to me by ties 
of blood and love. I hear the voices of the choir chanting 
the Christmas carol, and the peal of the organ reverberating 
within walls decorated with glossy holly and redolent cedar. 

"Once more I take my place at the table and partake of the 
Christinas cheer. Around that hospitable board are gathered 
father, mother, brothers and sister. The old black mammy 
arrayed in all the glory of Christmas gifts, the ebony butler 



"HAVE YOU NO IDEALS?" 311 

beaming with pride, the good old housekeeper bustling and 
nervous lest something be wanting to complete the feast for 
whose perfect appointments she holds herself responsible, the 
eager and expectant faces of the little darkies peeping in the 
door, the table loaded with everything good to eat, cooked 
as only old Aunt Charlotte could cook it, the Christmas tree 
ready to be lighted in the center of the table! I can see it all 
and I hear my father's voice saying: 'Bless, O Lord, these 
mercies to our use and us to Thy service.' 

"When all is over, the happy greetings, the bountiful feast, 
the gifts of loving hearts, and the day consecrated by the 
faith of centuries is done, and night has come once more, I 
feel upon my lips my mother's good-night kiss." 

In a few days we received the copy of Winston's Weekly 
which announced our Brother's death. It contained the trib- 
utes paid him. One, by the Bar of Spokane: "It is our 
deliberate judgment," his brethren had declared, "that for 
wit and humor, for logic, for eloquence, for learning, for love 
of justice, for kindness of heart, for sympathy with the un- 
fortunate, for lofty and noble Americanism, he had no su- 
perior, in this or any other age of our country." 



CHAPTER XXIV 

A FRESHMAN AGAIN AT SIXTY 

IN the last chapter I undertook to tell of a New England 
village which I visited. Let me now picture a little Southern 
village. In the foothills of North Carolina nestles Chapel 
Hill, the seat of our University a spot so alluring that un- 
doubtedly nature strained her loins in bringing it forth! 
From this elevated plateau, verdant with every tree and plant 
and shrub and flower of the temperate zone, one may look 
out in all directions north, east, south, and west for miles 
and miles, over rolling hills of green and over pleasant val- 
leys, watered by pebbly brooks. 

And the heart of the village is the University, or, to speak 
more accurately, the village is the University. When one 
says Chapel Hill he means the University, and when one says 
the University he means Chapel Hill. Town and Gown are 
one. Like a little gem in a setting of gold the University is 
a picture of unity. Everything on the Hill points to the 
central figure, the University. The little village seems to 
exist but to sing the praises of University. Roads, streets, 
avenues, bypaths, arboretum, stadium, and forests alive with 
the song of birds all these do homage to Alma Mater. 

Though the college buildings are inexpensive, and without 
great architectural beauty, the campus-setting, amidst oaks 
and hickories and ash and dogwood, is unsurpassed. No- 
where in America, or in England, have I seen a lovelier spot 
than Chapel Hill. 

Dear University, 
Thy sons right loyally 
Thy praises sing. 
312 



A FRESHMAN AGAIN AT SIXTY 313 

But the strength of the place is not in things material, it is 
in its spirit. Of late years, the University has been a light- 
house to the mariner, to warn the helmsman of rocks and 
shoals of the danger of narrowness, of sectionalism, of bigotry. 
In the early days, when the University authorities named the 
principal street of the village, extending east and west for 
more than a mile, they called it Franklin, in honor of Benja- 
min Franklin. That fact is significant: it indicated that the 
honesty, integrity, industry, and good common sense of Poor 
Richard was to be the foundation of the college. 

The inscription on the Confederate Monument, out in front 
of the South Building and hard-by the Old Well, is also 
thought-provoking. Not an appeal to emotion nor to pas- 
sion, not a suggestion that the curtain fell at Appomattox 
and, since then, the South has lost her freedom. Far from 
this. A bare statement that the sons of Carolina went forth 
to battle at the call of their state. 

And now, at the age of sixty-odd years, I was back again 
on the Hill sole survivor of all the students and faculty and 
villagers of '75. All, all were gone the old familiar faces. 
The oldest faculty members now were then freshmen to me. 
Venable, Williams, Noble, Toy, and Wilson, these pro- 
fessors had been underclassmen. And as I would pass them 
on the campus and think of old college days, a sense of su- 
periority possessed me I expected them to tip their hats in 
my august presence! 

My headquarters were at the Carolina Inn a graceful 
building, of Mount Vernon design, presented to the Uni- 
versity by John Sprunt Hill, a constructive alumnus reaching 
out in every direction to advance the people not in higher 
education alone, but in scientific agriculture, in improved 
livestock, and in acquiring a knowledge of the three R's. 

At first my course of study included play writing, the 
short story, and philosophy. But soon I cut them all out 
except philosophy, to which I devoted myself. Indeed, I 



314 A FRESHMAN AGAIN AT SIXTY 

found I was getting busy, very busy, with the science of 
thought and with comparative religions. In truth I was in 
danger of forgetting I had come back to college for the fun 
of the thing, to amuse myself, to beguile the time, and to ride 
a hobby. Each day, with notebook under my arm and a 
well-sharpened pencil in my hand, I would step briskly over 
to the classroom where scores of students, including Parson 
Moss, the village favorite, and a dozen men and women from 
adjoining towns, would be assembled eagerly awaiting the 
lecture. 

Presently Williams, my old college mate, would slowly 
enter. Then, for an hour, I would sit and listen, as that mar- 
velous antiquated man built up his system of logic, whose 
foundation was "the intellectual process," leading up to "the 
absolute" and establishing a basis for "truth" "Unity in 
structure diff erence," he called it. So busy had I now become 
in the task of doing nothing that I am sure Hamlet, had he 
been present, would have scowled at Horatio, as he did when 
the actor was playing, and quizzically inquired: 

What's Hecuba to him or he to Hecuba 
That he should weep for her? 

The Professor had a mind essentially Germanic: Hegel and 
Kant were his masters. If he could but put across Hegel's 
distinctive thought, the necessity of a concept of a Begriff 
he would be content. Day in and day out, during an entire 
term, he would illustrate the Begriff, the formation of a 
concept the gift of comprehension, by means of which we 
may reduce, under one ruling idea, all the scattered parts 
of a subject, by which we may conciliate objections and 
bring down apparent contradictions to a profound unity. 
And this, the concept this, the Begriff-- would do. The 
concept works it never fails. 

Truth is always truth. Unite two particles of hydrogen 
with one of oxygen and we have water. H 2 O is water, al- 



A FRESHMAN AGAIN AT SIXTY 31S 

ways water, whether hot or cold. Three times three is nine, 
always nine. Minus three by minus three is likewise nine, 
always nine. If you negate the negating process the result 
is a positive. The multiplication table never lies. 

One morning Williams opened his lecture in an abstracted 
manner. Gazing out of the window, into the faraway sky, 
he asked, "What is the most important thing about a wheel- 
barrow?" 

"The wheel, Professor," a bright young woman answered. 

"Oh, no, not the wheel." 

"Then it must be the body, Professor," said another. 

"No, no, not the body." 

"Well, it can't be the handle?" 

"No, not that either. It's the concept of a wheelbarrow. 
When you get the concept of a wheelbarrow, any carpenter 
can build it. The thought counts, not mere mechanics." 

Thus, for an hour, would the Professor elaborate the 
thought of a concept and play with it. "The concept," he 
would say, "it is far more real, far more substantial, than 
matter, than the bench you are sitting upon or the pencil you 
hold in your hand. Science changes the science of today is 
not the science of my day. The electron is now the unit and 
has become the father of the atom. The intellectual process 
does not change. When Euclid made his contribution to 
mathematics he furnished us something real, with form and 
life enduring life." 

In another lecture he would explain that anyone in love 
with truth and endowed with the intellectual process may 
form a concept. Such person will analyze the subject: re- 
duce it to its component parts. He will then synthesize it; put 
it together again. We first tear a thing to pieces and we put 
it back as we found it we check and double-check. And 
this is the dialectic method. Here the other side is the spirit 
of the dialectic. 

Few of us are so far developed as to be dialectic. We are 



316 A FRESHMAN AGAIN AT SIXTY 

group-minded, we cannot find the* aggregate conceptions and 
reduce them to one ruling idea. We are content to take 
our thoughts secondhand. We are mere water-boys we tote 
the water the masters have dug from the well. Such a one 
will rise no higher than his church or his political party or his 
Greek letter fraternity. "I am a Methodist, I am a Democrat, 
I am a Theosophist," these words, like a parrot, he will re- 
peat. Few of us pass out of the group which philosophy 
calls the particular and reach the universal. Three stages of 
the intellectual process may be mentioned, the individual, 
the particular, the universal. Unto this last level the level 
of the universal the water-boy can never attain! 

Would you rise to the universal? Preserve your quality 
the thing which you are. Let quality enlarge, let it grow 
into quantity, but not at the expense of itself. When quality 
increases and becomes quantity this is a manifestation of the 
third category called relation. The action and reaction of 
quality and quantity is relation. First, quality, then quantity, 
then the relation of the two. A great mystery a thing grow- 
ing, enlarging and yet always remaining itself. The grain of 
wheat dies, and thirty grains forty grains spring up. A 
paradox, this coming of life out of death. The fault of our 
times is over-emphasis on bigness, loss of quality, mass pro- 
duction. 

Now, with this unending advocacy of the absolute dinging 
my ears, I would run down to Raleigh and visit my old 
friends, Connor, U. S. Judge, and Hoke, Chief Justice of our 
Court, succeeding Clark deceased, and discuss social and po^ 
litical problems. Bravely up from the legal ranks Hoke had 
risen, coming upon the bench at the same time I did. Early 
in life a trial judge, presiding in a courthouse around which 
the mob howled for the head of a negro prisoner, entering a 
judgment contrary to the popular demand, Hoke had uttered 
a sentence which marked him as a man, and gave him a name. 
Upon granting the motion to remove the case to an unbiased 



A FRESHMAN AGAIN AT SIXTY 317 

county, though the state's attorney declared such order would 
precipitate a lynching, he had said: 

"So be it, Mr. Solicitor. Better, far better, that the prisoner 
should be lynched by the mob than mobbed by the law." 

Hoke would have reached the Supreme Bench earlier, but 
refused to let his name be used. This conduct was highly 
honorable. He had arrived at the conclusion that the new 
amendment, depriving the Negro of the ballot, was unconsti- 
tutional, and was unwilling to take part in its judicial sanc- 
tion. A few years later the amendment was accepted by 
both parties, and Hoke rose to the highest bench. 

On the racial issue Connor likewise occupied a high posi- 
tion and was quite alone among Southern Democrats he 
saw no objection to the negroes' voting, in fact he concluded 
that educated and property-holding negroes, of good char- 
acter, ought to be encouraged to go to the polls. The ad- 
justment of racial matters he was willing to leave to time. 
Nor was he afraid of the people nor of workings out of 
God. 

In this conclusion of my old friends I could not entirely 
concur. I feared that a self-conscious race would be tre- 
mendously assertive, and conflicts and riots would inevitably 
ensue. Both Caucasian and African could not rule at the same 
time; of necessity one would dominate. This thought I en- 
larged upon in the Centennial address, which I had recently 
made at a joint session of the Supreme Court and the state 
Bar Association. In a word, I had said, too dogmatically, I 
fear, 

"All history teaches that two homogeneous races may not 
live side by side in the same land, on terms of perfect equal- 
ity, without one of four contingencies: Amalgamation, ex- 
patriation, extermination, or servitude." 

Now these thoughts of mine met with scant approval. 
Southern politicians and editors called them idle dreams. 
Chief Justice Clark, replying to my address, took sharp issue 



318 A FRESHMAN AGAIN AT SIXTY 

with me he would hold conditions just as they were. But I 
fear both he and the Governor had missed the point and were 
what Williams called group-minded. They followed the 
crowd. The Governor, referring to an article of mine in 
Current History, declared I was wholly wrong. Southern 
conditions were ideal. There was no better laborer than the 
Negro, who was made for the South as the South was made 
for him. By this statement the Governor meant, of course, 
that George should continue to do the work, and the white 
man continue to do the bossing! And, strange to relate, these 
good men the Governor and the Chief Justice seemed to 
imagine that the anomalous situation could permanently en- 
dure! 

But had they investigated this question, as Jung, the pro- 
found Austrian psychologist, has done, they might have 
changed their opinion. Says Jung, "Since the Negro lives 
within your cities and even within your home, he also lives 
within your skin subconsciously. Naturally this works both 
ways, and just as every Jew has a Christian complex, so every 
Negro has a white complex and every white a Negro com- 
plex." 

Was it not a learned negro who recently declared, "The 
relation of the African race to American affairs is at the 
foundation of every American statesman since 1820?" And 
this characterization, as to the South at least I feared, was 
correct. About 1820 the South became static and lacking 
in social energy. The democratic current of thought which 
swept over the civilized world made little impression upon 
us; we were deaf to outside influences and to progress. 

One day I took this vexed question to Brother George, 
then living in Chapel Hill. He, too, concluded that the matter 
should be left alone; it would settle itself. The Negro race 
could not, in his opinion, survive. It would die out. Under 
Herbert Spencer's theory of the survival of the fittest, it 
would give place to the Caucasian. "Why," said he, "the 



A FRESHMAN AGAIN AT SIXTY 319 

Negro is so disloyal to himself that he is ashamed of his color 
and his wool; all he makes, he spends on anti-kink to 
straighten his hair, and in paint and powder to create the im- 
pression he is white!" x 

Williams likewise eluded the issue. One day in the class- 
room, after I had been under him two years, and was fed up 
on the concept and the ideal and the absolute, and was in the 
hot pursuit of truth, not even turning aside from it "to save 
the life of my own mother," one day, as I was saying, I broke 
loose and asked this question: 

"Professor," I said, "in the domain of truth is not every 
man the equal of every other man?" 

"Undoubtedly," he replied. 

"Well, is not the Negro a man?" 

"Certainly." 

"Why then, is not the Negro entitled to his social, his civil, 
and his political rights, just as you or I?" 

The Professor's answer to this question I failed to get, but 
I did catch enough to ascertain that he was opposed to social 
intercourse and race mixing. This concession seemed to me 
to be an exception to the rule of the "absolute" which he was 
emphasizing. Indeed in his advocacy of the absolute he was 
sometimes grotesque, I feared. Beginning his lecture in a 
dignified manner, he would proceed to say that it took a 
brave man to stand alone, to stand out against his neighbors, 
to combat the church, to vote against his political party. It 
was easier to drift with the tide. But the concept does not 
come that way, or by juggling the facts, or by falsehood, or 
half-truths. 

"Young gentlemen," he would solemnly ask, "would you 
tell a lie to save the life of your own mother? No, you would 

1 Undoubtedly Dr. Winston was mistaken in supposing the race would 
die out. Negroes are increasing almost as rapidly as whites, and though 
their annual death rate is about eighteen out of a thousand and the whites' 
but eleven, the Negro birth rate is higher. 



320 A FRESHMAN AGAIN AT SIXTY 

not, you would stand for truth as Luther did, though every 
tile on the housetop were a Devil." 

Now all this was fustian, and every mother's son of us 
knew it. Why, we would have told a dozen lies to save our 
mothers! And yet the question would raise a great discussion, 
especially among the younger members. As for myself, it 
provoked me that so great a man as Williams should weaken 
his lectures by the use of strained metaphors and overdone 
illustrations. But, presently, the class would emerge from its 
temporary let-down and the Professor would resume and de- 
clare that the great of earth were they who had great ideals, 
men who had formed concepts. 

"Undoubtedly you will fall short in your conduct," he 
would say, "but not in your ideals. Only one man has been 
perfect. Jesus alone stood the test. Jesus was not a group- 
man. Nor was Socrates, nor Galileo, nor Bruno, nor Philo. 
But they paid the price they suffered the penalty." 

The matter of aesthetics, however, is beside the point; it 
suffices to say that Williams, the logician, was still holding 
my attention, so firmly gripping me that I found myself 
reappraising values, reclassifying my associates. Actually 
getting a new line on myself. Was I group-minded, moving 
along in an aimless fashion? Had I been a ship without a 
compass? A namby-pamby, as the heroes of fiction we know 
and love, Colonel Harry Esmond, David Copperfield, Edward 
Waverley, Ernest Pontifex? Must I admit with Coleridge 
that, "I have a smack of Hamlet myself, if I may so say?" 

These lectures, indeed, were opening my eyes. I was be- 
ginning a search for causes not symptoms. I began to under- 
stand why my literary efforts had been half-baked; I had not 
known what I was driving at. I had failed to think the thing 
through. I had not made a blue-print of my literary output. 
I had been shooting in the air. Now I proposed to make a 
change. I would employ the dialectic method. I would cut 
out emotionalism. I would not only analyze, I would syn- 



A FRESHMAN AGAIN AT SIXTY 32! 

thesize. I would not be content with half-truths. The half 
gods should go, that the gods might appear. 

But my questionings did not stop with myself, nor with 
those I had known. I began to reappraise the South, the Old 
Southto apply Williams' intellectual process to the land of 
my birth. Why had the South fallen back in the race of life? 
What was the cause of Southern decadence? At the forma- 
tion of the Union she had fair prospects, fairer than other 
sections greater wealth, twice the number of sea-going ves- 
sels, more liberality, finer culture, a larger population, a more 
dominating influence in the nation. She furnished most of 
the presidents and nearly all the great generals. Why, under 
Heaven, had she slipped down from her high estate? Was it 
because her leaders were not real leaders? Were they group- 
men; did they fail to think a thing through; were they lacking 
in the dialectic? Had the South exorcised free speech? 2 

When the University expelled Prof essor Hedrick because 
he voted for Fremont, the abolitionist, was that a group- 
minded act? When the Grimke sisters were run out of 
South Carolina because they urged the riddance of slavery, 
where was the leader to raise his voice in protest? When Dr. 
Worth was sentenced to jail for two years, because Helper's 
book was found in his home, where was the Gaston or the 
Ruffin, or the Johnston to cry Shame! Why had not South- 
ern Whigs asserted themselves, formulated a plank to remove 
slavery and fought it out along this line with tooth and nail? 

2 Undoubtedly* in the 1830'$, the tariff protected the industrial North at 
the expense of the agricultural South and caused sectional bitterness. But 
in the '4o' s the Walker tariff had been enacted. This was a Southern 
measure, written by Southern men to protect the Southern planter, and 
with slight changes was the law in 1861, when secession began. Congress- 
man Keitt of South Carolina prepared the bill of grievance of that state 
against the United States, and enumerated no cause but slavery. There- 
upon Senator Hammond of South Carolina urged that the tariff be added 
to the list. "Why, Senator, you and I wrote those tariff laws. How then 
can we complain of them?" said Keitt. Hammond yielded the point, of 
course, and only slavery was included as a justification for secession. 



322 A FRESHMAN AGAIN AT SIXTY 

Surely, John Bell, Jubal Early, Badger, Stephens, Clay, Man- 
gum, Pettigru, John Belton O'NeaU, to mention only a few, 
surely these great men could have carried the country upon 
a platform to relieve the white people of the South from the 
curse of Negro slavery. 

Agitated by these questions, I would go upon Williams' 
class and seek to get further light upon the intellectual 
process. 

"Professor," I would say, "are there no assumptions in your 
logic?" 

"None," he would solemnly avow. "I have a standing 
offer of ten dollars to anyone who shall discover any such as- 
sumption. Logic needs no postulates mathematics has no 
assumptions truth is truth. The three angles of a triangle al- 
ways equal two right angles." 

"But, Professor," some credulous student would break in, 
"though three times three equals nine, if the unit had not been 
one, would not the result have been different? If the integer 
had been assumed to be two, three times three would not be 



nine." 



In reply the Professor would advise the inquirer to look 
the matter up, and then would proceed to illustrate the abso- 
lute and the infinite, which he claimed were all about us. 

"Ten divided by three illustrates the infinite. The process 
of dividing three into ten is an infinite process: 3.33333 and 
so on to infinity. H 2 O, water, illustrates the absolute. So 
with truth, it is absolute and it is infinite." 

From a religious point of view the Professor's system was 
not flawless, but as an aid to clear thinking and in the creation 
of men stern, heroic, individualistic it was. His philosophy 
students won the debates, wrote the best essays, and, in after 
life, became leaders. Four of them, at one time, judges of 
the Supreme Court, one, a judge of the Circuit Court of Ap- 
pealslater nominated to the Supreme Bench of the United 



A FRESHMAN AGAIN AT SIXTY 323 

States and not confirmed a mistake of the Senate, in my 
humble judgment. 

Williams used no text-books. The student was expected 
to take notes and be able to respond, not by repeating what 
he had heard but in a more original manner. My interest 
in the subject was such, however, that I supplied myself 
with numerous treatises on philosophy, and went over the 
field from Plato to John Dewey. With Everett's provoca- 
tive Science of Thought on my desk, I ranged from idealism 
to neorealisrn, not neglecting materialism, institutionalism, and 
pragmatism that is, I traced the development of man from 
matter to life, from life to mind and from mind to God. 

As it seemed to me, the hypothesis of God explained the 
phenomena of the moral world somewhat as the theory of 
Copernicus and Galileo explained the phenomena of the astral 
world* If I were to define my belief, in philosophical termi- 
nology, I would say I became a teleological, ontological ideal- 
ist! Which means, in plain English, I believe God exists 
and the world is purposeful. But I find myself running ahead 
of my story. 

Before I began to buckle down to hard study I had re- 
garded my new venture as a kind of joke. That a man of 
sixty-odd years, who was a grandfather several times over 
and a retired judge with an ample estate, should have become 
one of the boys-~3,ooo of them engaging in their sports and 
amusements, was really quite funny! And I did not fail to 
tell of it. Before the first year was up my new experiences 
had been written and forwarded to Scrilmer's. The article 
was called "A Freshman Again at Sixty." 8 

8 In the Christmas 1924 number of Scribner*$. At this time, Norman 
Foerster, the Humanist, and W. C Brownell greatly encouraged me the 
former at Chapel Hill, the latter at Williamstown, Massachusetts. Mr. and 
Mrs. Brownell and I spent a delightful summer together at the Williams' 
Inn. Their criticism of my efforts to write were most helpful. When the 
gentle critic assured me that Robert Bridges thought well of my "A Fresh- 
man Again at Sixty," I took on fresh courage; I felt that my pen might 
be of some service to my native land. 



324 A FRESHMAN AGAIN AT SIXTY 

When in Raleigh, I would call on the new Supreme Jus- 
ticesfive of them, all former practitioners in my court 
and give an account of my exploits. And how glad they 
seemed to see me! Not only on my account, but because of 
my novel experiences and the fact that I had retired. 

"And how is old Horace?" Brogden, the broad-minded 
humorist of the Bench and a "Williams product, would ask. 

"Never finer," I would reply. "Going strong as ever on 
the antinomy.'* 

"On what?" friend Clarkson would put in. 

"The antinomy, Your Honor, the big idea that ran Kant 
crazy that two propositions, though exactly opposite, may 
both be true!" 

"And how does Horace work that out?" Connor, Jr., 
would insinuate. 

"Well, let's see. Take the world, did it have a beginning? 
*Yes,' you answer. But, did it have no beginning? And 
again your answer must be 'Yes.' And there you are a world 
with a beginning and a world without a beginning!" 

I would never meet Justice Brogden, whose early death de- 
prived us of a noble spirit, but he would drolly say, "And, 
Judge, how is Old Man Antinomy these days!" As to Stacy, 
the stalwart young Chief Justice, and Will Adams, my old 
college mate, brave, true and learned, why, the very sight of 
me set them a-laughing. 

"Judge," I said to Adams one day, "what does the phrase 
'Saddle me the Ass' imply, to your way of thinking?" 

"Why, a prophet astride an ass and dispensing wisdom." 

"So I concluded," said I. "And that's precisely what I 
propose to do, saddle my ass and become a prophet!" 

Soon afterwards I lectured before the Shakespeare Club 
of Oxford and selected as my subject, "Absorbing One's 
Limits." Among other things I inquired if some of the 
women, just now emancipated and smoking all the cigarettes 
in the carton and drinking all the liquor in the bottle, were 



A FRESHMAN AGAIN AT SIXTY 325 

not absorbing their limits. My address must have made a 
great hit for I soon received a letter from a visitor at the 
meeting asking for a copy of niy wonderful speech on the 
woman who had swallowed her limits! 

On the occasion of an address by me before a smoker of 
the Carolina and Duke professors, we had quite a time. I 
told of my exploits and poked fun at the Scopes' trial out in 
Tennessee. I took occasion also to hold up the hands of my 
good friend Poteat in his brave fight before the legislature to 
save the state from a ridiculous anti-evolution bill which was 
pending, and would have passed but for him and President 
Chase and numerous alumni of our University. In a word, I 
pronounced myself a cosmopolite an apperceptive cosmop- 
olite! This phrase, I never heard the last of as Louis Graves, 
in his Chapel Hill Weekly, took it up and enlarged upon it. 



CHAPTER XXV 
LEND ME A QUARTER 

TOWARDS the end of the last century, while a practicing 
attorney, I would often deliver addresses before Confederate 
associations. On one occasion \ spoke in the courthouse at 
Oxford, and discussed the Battle of Gettysburg. And as I 
came to tell of my uncle's gallantry on the first day, when 
alone he brought out the flag, and the part my relative, Cap- 
tain Davis, played on the third day, leading his men beyond 
the Bloody Angle, and as I called over the names of my 
kindred, the Rhodes, the Coopers, and the Outlaws, wounded 
or dead on the field, I was so overcome that I faltered and 
could not proceed. 

In after years I got myself under better control and sought 
to impress a spirit of brotherly love. Often I related the story 
of Sergeant Kirldand, at Fredericksburg. The battle was 
about over, though shot and shell were still whistling through 
the air, when the gallant young fellow came to his Colonel 
and asked leave to go out and carry water to the wounded 
foe, whose cries were heart-rending. 

"Why, my dear Sergeant," expostulated the Colonel, "to 
venture out upon that field means certain death." 

"Well, Colonel," replied the brave boy, "if you'll let me 
I'll take chances." 

And out the stripling went, time and again ministering to 
his very enemies conduct worthy of a Philip Sydney at the 
Battle of Zutphen, and which may yet, we pray, stir poetic 
fire in the breast of some liberal-minded woman to immor- 
talize the kindness of the soldiers on both sides in the great 
American Conflict. 

326 



LEND ME A QUARTER 327 

But such incidents were now seldom mentioned. It was 
becoming unpopular to dwell upon the chivalrous deeds of 
the Blue as well as of the Gray. The memorial speaker and 
the pamphleteer had begun to rake up stories of hatred. They 
told how "old Abe Lincoln destroyed the principles on which 
the Union was founded," and how "the Yankees conducted 
the war as barbarians." They maintained that the "issues 
of the war were decided wrong and the United States is now 
a government based upon tyranny and usurpation." x Senti- 
ments not lightly spoken, but imbedded in Southern litera- 
ture, in Southern readers, in Southern histories, and carved 
into Southern monuments, creating a tradition latent and 
silent, but irresistiblethe very life blood of a people and 
their mores. 

Now, I do not at all maintain that sectional bitterness was 
making any great impression upon the young people of the 
South. On one occasion, I may say, I was amused when my 
bright young daughter got Andrew Jackson and Stonewall 
Jackson all mixed up! "Daddy," she inquired, "wasn't it 
Andrew Jackson who was killed at the battle of Chancel- 
lorsville?" But such unpatriotic statements were impressing 
strangers, and were keeping away desirable immigrants, as we 
shall presently see. A recent article in Scribner^s Magazine 
by Howard Mumford Jones, resigning from our faculty to 
go to a Western university, illustrates the irritation which the 
over-worked phrase, "damnyankee," though used in fun, pro- 
duces upon a well-bred person. 

But the time was not yet ripe for me to mount my ass and 
go forth philosopher-like, and set my people right! I must 
wait. I must tarry at Jericho till my beard grew out! I 
must be sure of my position. I must not go off at half-cock. 
Meanwhile I would pursue my studies and bide the time. 
Nor would I fail to enjoy Chapel Hill. 

As years had come and gone, I had begun to acquire the 

1 Quotations from pamphlets extensively circulated in 1936. 



328 LEND ME A QUARTER 

gift of observation. Nature appealed to me. The sighing of 
the zephyrs through the pines was a solace. I could catch 
the faintest "cheep" of the grasshopper sparrow, the sweet 
ripple of the white throat. An occasional note of the raucous 
jay was pleasant to my ears. New England people may boast 
of their hermit-thrush and claim him as the sweetest of sing- 
ers, with his bell-like note. I had heard this fine bird up at 
Lake Sunapee and enjoyed its song. Yet my vote was for its 
cousin, the wood-thrush, with its elusive, melodious note- 
its voice never cracking as that of the hermit. 

I grew to know the exact day in April when we might 
expect the thrush to come in from the Far South, and re- 
main till late summer, filling the glens with his silvery notes. 
Indeed I loved all the birds. The clear whistle of bob-white, 
the merry, "Laziness will kiU you," of the meadow-lark, the 
joyous, "Cheer-up!" of the cardinal, the ringing call of the 
brave little Carolina wren, the soft "Blue-blue" of the blue- 
bird, as it undulated through the air, carrying the sky on its 
back. I never tired of the birds. 

When the finches, gorgeous in black and yellow, and the 
well-tailored waxwing, in flocks, would dash in, I knew 
spring was well on its way. The wild canary, as we call this 
beautiful little creature, has a musical, appealing note, but not 
so rich, I think, as the song sparrow's "Sweet, sweet, sweet, 
very merry cheer." There are many who dislike the cooing 
of Noah's weary dove, but I was all for the dove. In the late 
afternoons, the slow, mournful "Coo-coo" of this lonesome, 
elusive bird, off on some faraway hillside, soothed and 
humbled and cheered and made me one with every living 
thing. 

At this time Brother George was a partial invalid, living 
in retirement with his son on Rosemary Street, near the col- 
lege campus. Nearly every afternoon Noble and IBilly, 
we called our old chum, a college mate of mine and pupil of 
Brother's would go around to visit him, sitting and chatting 




I 



I 

PQ 




LEND ME A QUARTER 329 

by the hour, talking of old days in Chapel Hill and the mar- 
velous changes which fifty-odd years had brought about. In 
1875 there were less than a hundred students, now there were 
twice that many teachers. The physical plant had improved 
just as rapidly, there being twice as many buildings as in our 
day. But these improvements did not suit Brother's fancy; 
he disliked the looks of things. As he saw it, the lack of dis- 
cipline, the inattention of students to their duties and the 
prevailing dissipation were alarming. 

From his sick bed he looked out with the eyes of a worn- 
out warrior upon a topsy-turvy world. Everyone complain- 
ing of poverty, yet everyone whizzing by in Fords and Chev- 
rolets; homes without a soul to care for them; the very reci- 
tation rooms filled with tobacco fumes. Cocktail parties, 
bridge parties, hip-pocket flasks, movies every night, high- 
priced sports, women emitting tobacco smoke from their nos- 
trils, and Al Smith Alcohol Smith, Brother called him ac- 
tually seeking the nomination for President! How different 
all this from his day when monitors reported neglect of duty 
and there were roll calls at classes and compulsory attendance 
at chapel, and whiskey and tobacco forbidden. Really, as 
Brother concluded, the clock was set back and Herbert 
Spencer's rule of the survival of the fittest and the perfecti- 
bility of man had been annulled. But just then, Billy Noble 
would come to the rescue. "Dad burn it, let her rip!" he 
would say, shrugging his shoulders in the most ridiculous 
manner. 

Sometimes we would amuse ourselves in a contest of 
memory. Who, for example, could name over the preposi- 
tions governing the ablative casea, ab or abs, absque, de, 
coram, palam, cum, ex or e, sine, tenus, pro and prse! Once I 
sprang a new one on Brother, quoting Lord Eldon's motto, 
so well known to lawyers, Sat cito si sat bene! "Sufficiently 
fast if sufficiently well" He had never heard of it. We were 
not able to give a literal translation to Newman's comfort- 



330 LEND ME A QUARTER 

ing expression, Orbis terrarum securus judicat. We did not 
know whether the phrase was a statement of mankind's ulti- 
mate righteousness, or implied that, of necessity, there must 
be a God. Occasionally, we would quote the original Latin, 
repeating lines from Horace, Juvenal or Virgil. Often we 
indulged in the light and frivolous; or in a bit of philosophy: 
Coelwn non mifjwm mwtmty qm trans mare currunt "Their 
sky, but not their spirit, they change, who run to and fro 
across the sea." 

"Doctor," said Billy one day, "who was the best Latin 
scholar you ever taught?" 

"Why, we had no scholars." 

"Wasn't Colonel Bingham a Latin scholar?" 

"Bingham a scholar! Why, no, he didn't claim to be." 

"Nor old man Jim Horner?" 

"Of course not; a fine drill master, but no scholar." 

"Well, how about yourself, Doctor?" 

"Why, I'm no scholar." 

"Who then is?" 

Here we would have cornered the grand old man, worn 
with age, with labors for humanity and with kicking against 
the pricks. But he would finally rally. "Well," he would 
venture, "Gildersleeve knew Latin, and Alderman knew some 
Latin, and Aycock could put Latin into pretty fair English. 
But . . ." he sadly added, "as for me I accomplished little; 
I was too impatient, too hasty. . . . How poor are they that 
have not patience!" Always, before our delightful conver- 
sations would end, the Doctor would drift back to the cardi- 
nal principle of his life the perfectibility of the human race. 
No matter how badly off present times might be they were 
temporary. "Progress, development, is Nature's law," he 
would say. "And time sets all things right." 

In the village of Chapel Hill Brother Frank was a favorite, 
the older citizens remembering him, calling him by his given 
name and having a genuine affection for him. Since gradua- 



LEND ME A QUARTER 331 

tion in '79 he had not failed to attend a single commencement, 
nor had he missed a meeting of the Board of Trustees, to 
which he had belonged for forty years. A wit, a teller of 
good stories, he was in demand as an after-dinner speaker. 
As toastmaster, he presided over scores of banquets, and kept 
the table in a roar with unfailing humor. But for his short 
defection from the Democratic party and wandering off into 
the Republican, I am sure he would have reached the ambi- 
tion of his life and advanced the cause of universal brother- 
hood. 

Upon arrival in the village he and I would go round to see 
Brother George and talk of our old home and our Bertie 
kinspeople. Scores of questions Brother would ask about 
the Albemarle section. What was the name of this cousin, 
the kinship of that one, where was this house located, whither 
did that road lead? "Frank," he would ask, as careless-like 
as if the event had just occurred, "Frank, how many of those 
Robinson negroes did Father buy?" Then would ensue a 
learned discussion of the Robinson negroes, and we would 
drift back to slavery days, cudgeling our memories as to how 
many of the old darkies we could call by name. The num- 
ber was seventy-nine, as the list I filed away will show, 
though, undoubtedly, we had forgotten many of them. 

"Did Father ever sell a slave?" I asked my brother. 

"Yes, one," he thoughtfully replied. "Lucy Stone's mother 
a vindictive, unruly creature. Father was forced to sell 
her. She kept the plantation in an uproar. And yet when 
the poor woman was taken away by the slavetrader, such a 
look came in little Lucy's face, as she saw her mammy the 
last time, as I can never forget." 

Now these old stories greatly moved me. I visualized my 
three broad-minded, liberal brothers, born and reared in a 
land of slavery, but educated in a land of free men. Then 
coming back South, to their old home, a beautiful land, 
richly endowed by nature, a land they loved and would have 



332 LEND ME A QUARTER 

served and built up, not by flattery, not by cajolery, but by 
constructive criticism, by wise laws and by changing the 
mores of the people. In a short time I saw these venturesome 
young fellows gird on their armor and make ready for the 
fight a fight for universal popular education, for liberality 
of thought, for freedom of speech, and, particularly, for free- 
dom of action. I saw them enter the battle and I heard the 
clash of arms. I then witnessed their overthrow. The eldest, 
an exile, far from the home he loved. The next oldest, pre- 
maturely shattered and bed-ridden. The third, so wounded in 
the unequal contest he had waged that his career was cut 
short. And I, I myself? Well, foreseeing the danger, I had 
escaped a drubbing! 

One day I expressed to Brother George the sense of grati- 
tude I felt to the state for what she had done for our family, 
heaping honors upon us and denying us nothing. The old 
man, worn-out in serving his fellows, almost a skeleton, and 
having just enough of this world's goods to live upon, scowled 
through shaggy eyebrows, and extended his trembling hand. 
"Lend me a quarter," he growled, "and 111 pay my part of 
the debt." Aiid as the wounded man lay there, out of sight 
of the world, I could but think of the stricken monarch of 
the forest the unconquerable king of beastscrawling away 
back under some friendly boulder to hide, to die, unobserved 
by rival eyes. 

On another occasion, I asked him why he had insisted that 
I accept the chairmanship of the committee to raise funds to 
endow the Walter Hines Page School of International Rela- 
tions. "Were you and Page so close as all that?" I said. 

"No," he answered, "we were not." 

And then he paused a moment, but presently resumed. 
"Robert," he went on, "I moved in that matter to start a 
sentiment of nationality in North Carolina attachment to the 
United Statesinternationally also the United World, the 
Brotherhood of Man." Here again there was a pause, and 



LEND ME A QUARTER 333 

then he sadly added, "The dear old South, still rustic, still 
primitive, must needs have heroes to worship men like Wil- 
liam Jennings Bryan. Principles would not do; they are too 
remote, too abstract. ... I hoped I might help North Caro- 
lina to rise to the height of this great argument." 

The sweetest memory I retain of Brother's last days is 
the visits of the worthy but uneducated people of the village, 
some poor and humblesons and grandsons of the virile old 
men who were his friends while he was President of the Uni- 
versity, in the early days. I recall the kinspeopie of Mathew 
McCauley, the honest and well-beloved miller who used to 
supply our whole-wheat flour, and of John Huskey, the 
brawny village smith, and those of rough, illiterate Tom 
Lloyd, the wonderfully successful hosiery-mill owner, a 
staunch Republican and a friend of Chapel Hill when friends 
were needed. 

Visits from the negroes of the village refreshed my brother. 
How his worn face would lighten when John Caldwell, 
ebony-hued illegitimate son of old Wils, our janitor, would 
come by for a talk, and when John's children would tell of 
the successes they had made one of them a trained nurse giv- 
ing Brother massages. 

Only one of the old college servants remained alive, and 
even he came in after my day. Bill McDade, the link that 
bound the Old and the New, was now curator of the Graham 
Memorial, and no one could be prouder of his charge than 
this humble and faithful black man, with a heart as white as 
the whitest. One morning I was passing the Memorial build- 
ing, on my way to a recitation, when I heard Bill's voice in 
loud protest. Evidently something was going wrong with 
the building which he served and loved. Late that afternoon 
I met Bill off for night duty. 

"William," said I, "what was all that jowerment about this 
morning?" 

"Well, Mr. Jedge," he replied, "one des new men, what 



334 LEND ME A QUARTER 

des put in charge, he comes en tries to move Mr. George 
Winston's picture from de walls, en I says, says I, 'Naw, sir, 
not while ole Bill's alive.' Mr. George Winston! Why, man, 
he's de best friend us po' folks' got. He allus helped us 
niggers he didn't give all de haulin' of rock to de rich folks. 
Naw, sir! He gin everybody a show, Vidin' hit out. Naw, 
sir, you shan't do it.' " 

"Well, Bill," I said, "what happened?" 

"Wha-Wha!" Bill laughed. "Why, boss, I seed de Presi- 
dent en he says sezz ee, 'Tell dat ar new man to put dat pic- 
ture back on de wall, whar it longs.' " 2 

On one occasion two old boys called on Brother June 
Parker, general counsel of the American Tobacco Company, 
and Pete Murphy, friend of the University in a dozen legis- 
laturesand there was great fun. Somehow Brother fell to 
discussing Moses and how he frightened the Israelites into be- 
having themselves, making reference to a visit which the 
Lawgiver had made to Jehovah on the mount. Presently the 
talk came around to the days of the i88o's and 'po's, 

"Doctor," said Pete, with a twinkle in his bright, honest 
eye, "have you forgotten that midnight when you broke in 
my room and caught Busbee and Boyden and a few of us en- 
gaged in a litde game of poker?" 

"Yes, Pete, I've forgotten all about it, but I wa'n't sur- 
prised at any devilment of yours in those days." 

"Well," Pete laughed, "in you came, uninvited. And there 
were the chips, and the coin, all on the table in plain sight. 
And you spoke up and said, 'Shame on you, young gentle- 
men! What would you think if you were to come in my 
house and catch me gambling, yes, gambling, with President 
Battle and Dr. Hooper and Venable?' 

" Why, Professor/ I managed to reply, Td say you'd rake 
in the pile!'" 

2 The change of paintings was temporary. 








THE lMV;p5ir\ Cf NGhTH C^j?OU\A, 

of im irtitatA^j -v:i'M>rs, 



sx t tw HW wo * 

i HFA * ?| ./ ' 

WO M HM) ', , "v,,- 




BILL McDADE AND His FRIEND 



LEND ME A QUARTER 335 

Shortly" afterwards I was telling this story to Eubanks, the 
popular druggist, and he asked if I had ever heard how near 
Brother George came to being shot. "No," said I, "tell me 
about it." He then proceeded to tell this story. One dark 
night President Winston, with a small lantern, trudged out 
hunting Sykes' moonshine distillery, on the edge of the town 
Sykes, a notorious blockader who had debauched the cam- 
pus for many months. Now as the President was walking 
around shining his lantern, looking for the still, Its owner 
spied him. Then, as Sykes told it, "I was in ten steps of the 
man, and I drew a bead on him with my gun, filled with 
buckshot, and followed him with the barrel for full fifty 
yards. But my heart failed and I couldn't pull the trigger/' 

I did not discuss philosophy with Brother, he so much dis- 
liked the subject. But we never tired of the Bard of Avon 
and the Wizard of Romance. Macbeth, he considered the 
greatest of Shakespeare's plays; and I, Henry IV; he was 
wedded to Scott's Ivmkoe; and I, to The Heart of Mid- 
lothian. Brother was fond of full-blooded heroes and had 
little patience with the flabby, namby-pamby sort. "What 
character has Shaw created?" he would sneer. "Or Hardy, 
or Meredith?" He would then declare that no writer was 
great who had not originated a character. "Who can forget 
Jack Falstaff, or Shylock, or Wamba, or Jeanie Deans?" he 
would ask. 

I was glad Brother's days were prolonged till Buchan's Life 
of Scott came out. I consider it the best biography of Sir 
Walter. It is short, but packed full of good things. Evi- 
dently the writer was moved to his task by a natural impulse. 
One thought of Buchan's I passed on to Brother. Scott's 
heroes and heroines came from humble homes, Scott was not 
an adulator. He did not bow down before lords and ladies, 
as has been often charged. How much greater is the humble 
clansman, Evan Dhu, than Edward Waverley, the aristocratic 
hero of the novel? How far superior to the fine ladies of 



336 LEND ME A QUARTER 

The Heart of Midlothian is Jeanie Deans, sister of the un- 
fortunate Effie and devoted daughter of Douce Davie? 

In Trevelyan's Life of Macmluy it is recorded that on a 
few occasions the cold, phlegmatic Liberal shed tears, not at 
the happenings of the day, but while reading Homer's story 
of the hardships, the sufferings, and the heroism of Achilles 
and Hector. Now once only did I see Brother's eyes mois- 
tened, and I thought of the story of Lord Macaulay. We 
were discussing Scott that day my brother and I and I 
asked which of his novels he liked best. "Ivanhoe" he re- 
plied. He then proceeded to tell the story of Wilfred of 
Ivanhoe, and Rowena, daughter of the Saxon chieftain, and 
Rebecca, daughter of Isaac, the Jew. 

In a tournament the burly knight, Brian de Bois-Guilbert, 
had been unhorsed by Ivanhoe and the superstitious crowd 
charged witchcraft and pointed to Rebecca as the witch. 
"Then," said Brother, "Rebecca was hauled before the 
Grand Master of the Temple of Zion and asked how she 
would be tried. 'By wager of battle/ she answered. 'Ah/ 
said the Grand Master. 'You have no champion/ 'God will 
raise me up a champion/ said Rebecca. Then came the trial 
by combat. Thrice the herald repeated, 'Fakes vos devoirs 
prieux Chevaliers!' Forward the champions came, with 
lances in place, but in the first tilt Brian, the favorite knight, 
fell from his charger, dead. And such was Rebecca's grati- 
tude and love for Ivanhoe that she could not go near him. 

"But," Brother added, "she sought out Rowena and the 
two women saw each other for the last time. 'Lady Row- 
ena/ said Rebecca, 'I have a request to make before we part, 
'Will you not raise your bridal veil and let me gaze once 
again upon the face that Ivanhoe loves?' " 

Here Brother's voice faltered, his eyes moistened. Turn- 
ing, he said, "Robert, never before have you seen me play the 
woman. . . . Oh, it was not the love-scene I was thinking 
of. It was our old home, Windsor Castle, and dear old 



LEND ME A QUARTER 337 

Father, who spent himself for us, and our tender Mother, and 
the long, long years between, and what we have tried to do 
and have not done. . . . My life is writ in water." 

It was now late afternoon. The shadows were lengthen- 
ing. Through the open window I could hear the notes of a 
brown thrush, sitting up in a tree. I rose to go. Brother 
stopped me. "Robert," he said, in a careless way, having 
regained his composure, "I am growing weaker, and when I 
die I wish to be burned." 

"All right," I cheerfully replied. "We'll burn you to a 
crackling." 

"No foolishness now. That's my request." 

"It's a bargain," said I. "But why not a decent, Christian 
burial, like the rest of us?" 

"Oh, the Devil," he snorted. "Think of having to select 
the honorary pallbearers!" 

As I went out in the open and passed over the lawn, I could 
hear the merry laughter of Brother's little grandson, Patrick 
Henry Winston V, as he kicked the football and played with 
the neighboring boys. On my way to my rooms I walked 
across the arboretum so quiet, so restful. A robin, upon a 
limb, was trying to sing, but his crop was so full of worms 
he could merely grunt; flocks of goldfinch, just in from the 
Far South, were chattering and twittering, and getting their 
suppers. Upon reaching the Inn, I took down Mabie's Shake- 
speare, and read of the four stages of the great poet's life: 
early apprenticeship; joyousness and contact with the world; 
then tragedy; and, lastly, meditation and reconciliation. 
"And that," said I, "must be my end meditation and recon- 
ciliation." 

In a few days, Dr. Winston had passed into the Silent 
Land, peacefully and without a tremor. His body was cre- 
mated, just as he had requested, and his favorite nephews, 
Captain Robert W. Winston, Jr., and Captain Frank S. 
Spraill, Jr. World War veterans both took charge of the 



338 LEND ME A QUARTER 

urn and laid the ashes to rest by the side of his wife, at Ashe- 
ville, in the Land of the Sky. We had not been put to the 
trouble of selecting honorary pallbearers! 3 

3 George Tayloe Winston, LL.D., was president of the State Teachers 
Association; fifth president of the University of North Carolina; first 
president of the University of Texas; second president of State College, 
Raleigh. 



CHAPTER XXVI 
WHO SHALL BELL THE CAT! 

LONG since it must have become apparent that my little 
scheme to retire from business and lead a life of rest and qui- 
etness had vanished. Each day I was working as many hours 
as when on the bench. If I would be of service to the South 
my knowledge of her handicaps must be adequate. No re- 
tarding element should be overlooked. Not only must facts 
be collected, but conclusions drawn. And this task was not 
an easy one. Generalizations, like a forward pass, are com- 
plete and helpful or incomplete and hurtful I was striving 
for a completed pass dealing with causes, not symptoms. 

I had concluded that before the war slavery was the un- 
doing of the South, and since then the Negro and sectional- 
ism continued fatal drawbacks. I had also ventured to sug- 
gest a solution of the perplexing Negro problem based on the 
well-known fact that the race is useful in inverse proportion 
to density and, therefore, should scatter leave the South and 
cease to congregate in congested masses. 

Nor had this fad of mine proven wholly abortive. Negroes 
in great numbers had gone away and settled in the North, the 
East, and the West. Whereas, a few years before, more than 
half of all negroes lived in the South Atlantic states, today 
less than thirty-five per cent are in that region. One-seventh 
of the negroes have left the South since I and others began to 
point out the desirability of migrations. The city of New 
York is illustrative. Today, New York is the largest Negro 
city in the entire world. 

It had been a score of years since I rashly ventured to pre- 
dict that the end of the race issue would be amalgamation, 

339 



340 WHO SHALL BELL THE CAT! 

expatriation, extermination, or servitude, and had added that 
two homogeneous races could not live side by side on terms 
of perfect equality without becoming amalgamated. 

The years between had confirmed my conclusion, and the 
trend was now either towards servitude or in the opposite 
direction. In the Black Belt the negroes' pathway was thorny, 
but in the Border States it was less rocky. Let a "bad nigger" 
show up in the Valley of the Mississippi and become unruly, 
and he is put to death, without disturbing court or jury. In 
the Border States, on the other hand, educated negroes are 
becoming self-assertive. Backed by lawyers and funds of 
various societies they are asking the courts to over-rule 
Grandfather Constitutions, Jim Crow Laws, and all other im- 
pediments to absolute racial equality. In Tennessee and in 
North Carolina there is litigation by young negroes who seek 
admittance into state universities. 

"Oh, that every black man were a white man," lamented 
President Monroe, speaking for the American Colonization 
Society. To this sentiment I had added, "Would that I could 
let the Negro issue drift along and settle itself." But this I 
could not then do. The Negro had advanced too far for 
cajolery. Platitudes had played out. Henry W. Grady's 
speech electrifying the North had served its purpose a posi- 
tive step must be taken. America was at the crossroads. 
Either the Negro was a citizen or he was not. Gone were 
the days of the old Aunt Harriets and the old Uncle Bens. 

I will no further dwell upon the friction of an alien race, 
but will pass to sectionalisma subject I had always dreaded 
and approached with fear and trembling. I felt, indeed, that 
I was treading on sacred ground, and should take the shoes 
from off my feet. Before tackling the delicate question, 
therefore, I had made a somewhat wider sweep. I had dived 
deeper than mere lectures and addresses and pamphlets. 
These were totally inadequate. A broader foundation was 
necessary. Volumes volumes dealing with causes and with 



WHO SHALL BELL THE CAT! 341 

the results of bad leadership were indispensable. Accord- 
ingly, I had gone to work writing and publishing books- 
several of them. My first study related to a stubborn, mis- 
understood individual, a man devoted to the Union and the 
Constitution, one whose principles would have allayed sec- 
tionalism, prevented war and created a prosperous South: in 
Andrew Johnson: Plebeian and Patriot 1 laid bare the folly, 
if not the crime, of secession leadership. 

After a while I brought out another biography, the life of 
Jefferson Davis, High Stakes and Hair Trigger. As Johnson 
is a type of the Union Democrat, so Davis is the type of the 
hothead a man who played for high stakes, and would carry 
his slaves into the territories or pull the trigger of his gun 
against all who opposed. 

My third effort was a life of General Lee. A psychologi- 
cal approach, a study in ultimates. In Lee I had discovered 
an unusual personage, one after whom my own life was mod- 
eled, and with whose social and political principles I was in 
thorough accord. Surrendering in good faith, putting aside 
Civil War bitterness, refusing to join a Gettysburg associa- 
tion, insisting that America should imitate those nations which 
obliterated memories of internal strife, the only great soldier 
so childlike as to accept at par the decrees of Providence, in 
a word the one man among millions unwilling to play fast 
and loose with God such was Robert E. Lee. 

I will not comment on these studies except to repeat that 
they were praised to the sky or condemned to the limit. 
There was no half-way ground. I was wholly right or 
wholly wrong, according as the reviewers regarded secession 
a blessing or a curse. 

After I had written these volumes, I again took a breathing 
spell. My winters were spent at Southern Pines, or at 
Charleston, Camdeii, and Aiken, or in Florida. The summer 
season found me in Asheville and other sections of the Blue 
Ridge, where frost might be expected every month in the 



342 WHO SHALL BELL THE CAT! 

year. But, in the fall and spring, Chapel Hill and Durham 
the home of my daughters, "where my washing was done," 
entitling me to the privilege of voting were my abiding 
places. 

Very happy interludes in a life of vagabondage would be 
informal talks to clubs and other organizations, some political, 
some social, and some literary. From the Everglades to the 
Green Mountains I spread the gospel of Southern opportuni- 
ties and Southern mistakes speaking no word in Massachu- 
setts that I did not utter in South Carolina. At Asheville I 
addressed the Pen and Plate Club, perhaps the most select 
group of its kind in our land. Meredith's allegory The 
Shaving of Shagpat v/^s my subject: the harmfulness of 
superstition, race prejudice and sectional feeling. I inquired 
if we people of the South had a Shagpat who dominated our 
actions and controlled our thoughts. If so, should we not 
shave the old impostor and get rid of hindrances which were 
holding us back in the race of life? 

After I had reminded the club of the main points of the 
allegory, I paused and asked this question. "Is there," said I, 
"in our midst tonight, sitting around this banquet table, is 
there one of us who is not ruled by prejudice? Are we not 
one and all worshipers of Shagpat? Civil War memories, 
fear of Negro domination, can we rid ourselves of these ob- 
sessions? Dare you, dare I, oppose public opinion? The 
answer must be a negative: Much of the South today is where 
it was a hundred years ago static, like a painted ship on a 
painted ocean." 

Now this was too much for one of our banqueteers, Theo- 
dore F. Davidson. Rising to reply, the General remarked 
that he had thought Baron Munchausen dead, but he was mis- 
taken. The Baron was not dead, he was alive and had just 
taken his seat! He then entered into the stock argument that 
the South is absolutely free and had always been free, and 



WHO SHALL BELL THE CAT! 343 

further, the civilization of the South is ideal. "Why," said 
he, "in the old days our slaves were much better off than the 
factory hands of New England." I was pleased when Colo- 
nel Joseph Hyde Pratt, a man of extensive knowledge of 
Southern conditions, replied to the General. The Colonel 
declared that he agreed with the speaker of the evening. 
"Sir," said he, "give me a White South and In twenty-five 
years I will show you a garden spot." 

On one occasion I spoke before the students in the Uni- 
versity chapel three thousand ardent youngsters and chose 
as my subject the Problem of the Particular. I urged the 
young men to transcend themselves, to rise above the group, 
to attain unto the universal. 

"Boys," I exclaimed, "great issues confront us. The human 
family is tossing about like the waves of an angry sea. Labor 
is in arms against capital. The New Deal idea is spreading 
to the remotest corners of the world. Socialism may be our 
portion. But right or wrong hit or miss we of the South 
have no part in this contest. We sit on the sidelines and 
watch the game. We say, but do not. Before election day 
we may talk, and bluster, and threaten, and swear the party 
lash shall no longer control, but in November we march up 
to the polls, like little tin soldiers, and vote as we are told to 
vote. 

"Indeed, our mildness when depositing our ballot, in con- 
trast to our bluster during the campaign, reminds me of a 
little fice, named Ida, I once owned. A fence stood between 
Ida and a fierce-looking bulldog which often trotted along, 
and she would dash out and jump against the barrier as if she 
needed but a chance to eat the big dog alive. But presently 
Ida would come to the wide-open gate, which she would 
blithely ignore and continue her assault from a place of 
safety. . . . 

"Now, boys, let me make a confession. I am just as cow- 
ardly as my little dog. Many a time I have sworn to scratch 



344 WHO SHALL BELL THE CAT! 

the Democratic ticket, but I never did. Before election I am 
as bold as a lion, on election day I am Mary's little lamb! 
Or, to change the figure, I remind myself of the young robin 
in its nest my mouth wide open, ready to swallow anything 
which Mother Robin may choose to drop in, be it a juicy 
worm or a chew of tobacco! . . . No, young gentlemen, I 
have never voted anything but the Democratic ticket, and so 
long as present conditions remain I never expect to. 1 

"The votes of the Southern states in the Electoral College 
are one-third the entire number. And every one of them is 
cast before the polls are opened. We Southerners do not 
reflect, or act independently. We dare not. A situation 
which reminds me of a story which we often used on the 
stump and applied to the Negro in his allegiance to the Re- 
publican party. Once upon a time the beasts met in confer- 
ence and the question arose as to the manner of conducting 
the balloting. The dog moved that the method be by the 
raising of tails. 1 object!' screamed the monkey. 'The goat 
has the advantage, he has already voted!' And so it is with 
the South, she has already voted." 

At this period of my life, I likewise amused myself writing 
a play, a ridiculous skit called Penelope's Web. The title ex- 
plains the contents. Penelope, the supposed widow of the 
supposedly slain Ulysses, had promised her suitors that she 
would marry one of them just as soon as she finished knitting 
the web she held in her hand. This was a safe promise, be- 
cause Penelope unraveled each night all she had knit during 

1 1 do not pretend to know how the South would vote if given a chance, 
but I do maintain that the South should be given a chance. Life is too 
varied, too stimulating and far too full of promise for Southerners not to 
have a part in its development. In the national elections we should par- 
ticipate. We should be able to divide and each and every one vote his 
convictions. Barriers to freedom should be removed. A storm-tossed 
world stands in need of a land which boasts a Washington. Fetters should 
be broken from our limbs. Southern leaders should not be forced to row 
one way and look another. Carter Glass, W. W. Ball, Newton Baker, 
should be set free. 



WHO SHALL BELL THE CAT! 345 

the day. And so It is with the South. Some Southerners are 
building up, while others are tearing down. 

Chambers of Commerce, Rotary clubs, and Kiwanians are 
moving heaven and earthbuilding hard-surface roads, erect- 
ing winter resorts, constructing school houses, all this to 
bring in desirable settlers. But Civil War societies are just as 
busy undoing this work, creating such an atmosphere of sec- 
tionalism that practically no Northern families come down. 
We have many tourists, we have winter visitors, but we have 
no permanent residents, no citizens to help us pay taxes and 
bear the enormous overhead which we have imposed upon 
ourselves in the race of life. 

Occasionally I came before women's clubs, where I like- 
wise spoke on the Sins of the Fathers. Sometimes I quoted 
from Hegel's Logic; the absurdity of slavery in a land de- 
voted to liberty. Hegel had said that slavery is the antithesis 
of liberty and when the Declaration of Independence de- 
clared all men were born free and equal that statement put 
an end to slavery. "Now," I would ask, "how did Calhoun 
and other worshipers of slavery get around this argument? 
Why, easy enough. They joined Dr. Nott, and insisted that 
the Negro was not human! 

"Upon this slender and slippery foundation," said I, "our 
old civilization rested. Nor is Southern civilization today 
standing on firmer legs. My friends," I would say, "do not 
misunderstand me. I may have criticized the institution of 
slavery, but I do not blame the slave-holding class. From 
personal experience I bear testimony that my own father and 
other slave-holders, whom I knew, were humane men, just 
as humane as the institution permitted. Not the slave-holder 
but the system, I denounce an institution inherited from un- 
wise ancestors, and even to this day controlling Southern 
thought." 

A humorous exhibition of the tyranny of public opinion I 



346 WHO SHALL BELL THE CAT! 

once witnessed at WytheviUe, Virginia, where I was spend- 
ing the summer* Three or four gentlemen learned and ex- 
perienced they were were denouncing those Southerners 
who had joined the Republican party, that is, "gone over to 
the Yankees/' They were specially severe upon their fel- 
low townsman, General, and afterwards Congressman, 
Walker, who had been a Republican. They questioned his 
loyalty to the Confederacy, and resented the suggestion that 
he commanded the Stonewall Brigade after Chancellorsville. 
"Yes, by God," said one of them, "and I always felt Long- 
street threw the Battle of Gettysburg, and when he joined the 
radicals I knew it." 

On all sides I discovered a latent, underlying feeling of 
sectionalism. There was constant evidence of the retarding 
influence of Civil War organizations. Through their activ- 
ity, as I knew, history in the Far South was being rewritten 
and text-books removed from schools unless they taught that 
the Union had been wrong and the Confederacy had been 
right. 

But how was I to get an audience, how might I spread the 
doctrine which I considered vital to my native land? At 
first, I thought of addressing the Southern Society of New 
York. To that end I wrote my good friend Junius Parker 
and outlined my plans. He replied that the society would 
doubtless be glad to hear me but of late years the speeches 
before it had been local and were not printed. About this 
time an invitation came to address the state Bar Association. 
The opportunity seemed providential and I gladly embraced 
it. 

Carefully I went to work assembling facts and co-ordinat- 
ing ideas for my Quixotic undertaking. The result was a 
paper of eight or ten thousand words, "A Garland for Ashes: 
An Aspiration for the South." 

In the very beginning I warned my hearers not to expect 
a discussion of the issues of the day. Neither the Co-opera- 



WHO SHALL BELL THE CAT! 547 

tive Movement nor the New Deal nor Social Security nor 
the Russian experiment nor labor and capital would I men- 
tion. I then asked this question, "Why discuss these matters, 
why waste time doing a vain thing? As you know, as every- 
one knows, there are but two ultimate issues with us two 
perennial, overshadowing issues the Negro and the Civil 
War. At the lick-log, all else is academic, collateral, incon- 
sequential. 

"Therefore," said I, "I give due warning that your atten- 
tion will be invited, not to the stirring issues now turning the 
world upside down, but to handicaps which prevent the 
South from even tackling those issues." 

When I had depicted the evils of slavery and had ventured 
the conclusion that from 1830 to 1860 the dominant party in 
the South did not contain a handful of farsighted leaders and 
had insisted that this was a contributing cause which even 
now was deterring desirable immigration, throttling industry 
and driving away ambitious, enterprising young men, I came 
to the second part of my address, the hurt of sectionalism, the 
retarding influence of Civil War societies. Nor did I mince 
matters. I inquired if a self-respecting Northern family 
would be willing to select a home amidst a hostile people. I 
then answered this question. I asserted that neither man nor 
woman would voluntarily live in a community which belit- 
tles them and their ancestors, adopts text-books so bitter, and 
so full of hysteria, as to suggest that the Civil War is still 
going on. 

I quote one of my opening paragraphs. "Before we can 
even be in a position to begin to think or to plan," said I, 
"we must first remove those prejudices which deter free 
thought, free speech and independent action." In conclusion 
I became dogmatic again and made certain specific recom- 
mendations. 

I insisted (i) that white immigration be invited; (2) that 



348 WHO SHALL BELL THE CAT! 

the black man be encouraged to disperse; (3) that mob-law 
and sectional bitterness be eradicated; (4) that Civil War 
societies North and South be requested to disband. 

Just here I may pause to make a confession. My utter 
amazement at the patience the forbearance of those who 
heard me. Though I had been frank beyond words, though 
I had uttered sentiments never before expressed in America, 
though I had implored organizations of women, in the name 
of God, to disband, no one interrupted me. No one showed 
the least disrespect. On the contrary I was generously ap- 
plauded. When I bade the audience farewell, and with up- 
raised hands solemnly and affectionately said, "Men of Caro- 
lina and the South, my task is done. My message delivered. 
An old man full of years if not of wisdom would put a new 
song in your mouth, would offer unto you a garland for 
ashes, the oil of joy for mourning. My native land, good 
night! " the presiding officer shook me warmly by the hand. 

I had spoken in the auditorium of Duke University, and 
the occasion was a memorable one an assembly of culture 
and refinement. And nature never more beautiful than on 
that night in June. The following morning, Fonville, Chief 
Justice of Iowa, addressed the lawyers. The distinguished 
Judge declared all too flatteringly of course that the mes- 
sage of the night before was the most important Southern 
utterance since Henry Grady's day. Though he had come 
two thousand miles for the meeting he would have gone four 
thousand rather than have missed it. 

Shortly afterwards I was at a Race Conference, high up in 
the Blue Ridge mountains, when a learned Southern historian 
approached. "J u clg e *" he said, exhibiting a copy of my ad- 
dress, "I agree with you in the main, but riot throughout." 
He then wrote on a bit of paper his conception of Southern 
civilization, (I) Before the Civil War, (II) Since the Civil 
War, (III) At the present hour: 




AN AMERICAN ENIGMA 



WHO SHALL BELL THE CAT! 349 

I. SlaveryDelusion 
II. Sorrow Illusion 
III. A'cfuality Facing Facts 

"Now in a few years," he concluded, "there will be no 
Solid South. No illusion, no delusion, no sorrow. Our 
young people will cast out these evilsthey are in earnest- 
facing facts and" 

"Excellent, Doctor," I interrupted. "Excellent! But what 
will these young people do with the race question?" 

"Oh, that I don't know!" 

"Do you agree with the Professor in his morning talk, that 
the end will be a mulatto race?" 

"Alas! What a calamity!" 

Sometime afterwards I related this conversation to the his- 
torian's son Doctor of Philosophy, and a learned, well- 
traveled, well-poised sociologist. He listened patiently and 
then quietly remarked, "In this matter Father is all wrong; 
not only will the Negro be absorbed but there is no valid 
objection to amalgamation. No race is superior to another. 
It's all a matter of prejudice. Here I, a Caucasian, am a dark- 
skinned man and my wife is very light. There is greater 
difference in our colors than there is between me and many 
a colored person." A sentiment, as I have discovered, which 
dominates the sociological department of every liberal school 
of thought, North or South. None but the liberal deserve 
the laurel! 2 

2 The curious reader, if so minded, may discover a few notes on this 
vexed chapter at the end of this bookpages 376-381. 



CHAPTER XXVII 
RECONCILIATION 

IT was several months after my "Garland for Ashes" speech 
before its significance leaked out, addresses of that kind being 
usually dry-as-dust and without news value. But when cer- 
tain Confederate organizations, and other critics who were 
like-minded, awoke to the sheer audacity of the thing they 
fell afoul of me. "He is seeing ghosts," wrote one editor. 
Others dwelt upon my lucubrations. They dubbed me a 
traitor to the South. Ashe, the North Carolina historian, was 
greatly concerned lest I had become an admirer of Abraham 
Lincoln. 

It remained for the brilliant young editor of the N&ws and 
Observer to put on the finishing touches. Jonathan Daniels, 
son of Josephus, published the address without comment. 
But his headlines simply screamed: "Not that the Confeder- 
acy is dead but that it hastft had a decent famal!" 

The Columbus, Georgia, "Ledger was sure I was guilty of 
great exaggeration. The South was absolutely free. No 
change was necessary. Now a friend sent me a copy of the 
paper, and I wrote a letter of thanks, and asked the editor if 
he would not be kind enough to answer a few questions 

(1) Do you favor the Negro voting and holding office in 
Columbus? 

(2) If not should we hold to the Negro and yet deprive 
him of those privileges? 

(3) What solution of the Negro problem do you offer? 

(4) Do you think our school history should suppress facts, 
for example, teach that the Yankees burned Columbia but we 
did not burn Chambersburg? 

350 



RECONCILIATION 351 

(5) Did you know that Georgia was no longer the Empire 
State of the South, having fallen in the race of progress? 

(6) How many citizens has Georgia lost since 1865? 

(7) May a reputable native Georgian vote against the 
white man's party without losing self-respect, and is that 
condition desirable? 

(8) Did you, Mr. Editor, ever bolt the white man's party, 
that is, vote for a candidate or a measure opposed by it? If 
so name man and measure. 

(9) Can a state controlled by one political party, abso- 
lutely, develop and prosper? 

(10) Do you favor lynching? 

( 1 1 ) Is it possible to stop lynching in Georgia so long as 
there is a vast Negro population? 

(12) Has Georgia suffered in the eyes of the world be- 
cause of lynching? 

(13) How do you suggest that the stale-mate in Georgia 
politics be put an end to? 

(14) In your criticism of my address you ask what impres- 
sion will it make on the North. Is that the criterion or should 
you have inquired what is the truth of the matter? 

In reply to these questions the Editor declared I had no 
appreciable understanding of the South, my idea of dispersing 
the Negro was ridiculous. The South is the best place for 
him. "There is no solution of the Negro problem, and no 
stale-mate in Georgia." The seven most important inquiries 
were unanswered, to-wit, i, 5, 6, 7, 8, n, 12. 

Now this oration had given occasion to such critics as 
maintain that the national government is a tyrant because it 
conquered sovereign states, to go back and assail my writings 
all along the line. My Johnson and my Davis, composed to 
allay bitterness, aroused bitterness. Civil War societies were 
so highly indignant that they put my Lee on the Index. But 
I am sure the critics failed to teach my soul to hate. Perhaps 
my equanimity was possible because of praise from Sir Hu- 
bert, of precious messages from editors of the broad, liberal 



352 RECONCILIATION 

press from Boston to Dallas* From William Allen White, 
John Hays Hammond, Isabel Paterson, as well as from Ellen 
Glasgow, Joseph Blount Cheshire, W. E. Dodd, Edwin 
Mims, John Bassett Moore, Julia Peterkin, Archibald Rut- 
ledge. "I wish I could have heard you," Rutledge wrote. 
"Your brave, wholesome message has been filed away among 
my most precious treasures." 

I did not often reply to the attacks upon my efforts to 
serve the South, but on one occasion I broke my rule. I had 
received a communication from a lady in Virginia Miss 
Smith we will call her-an official high up in a Confederate 
organization. In much indignation she had written, classing 
me among the traitors to the South and calling my "Garland 
for Ashes" address a mere spiel. "I am enclosing a tribute to 
your patron saint, Old Abe," she wrote. This tribute I 
found in her letter, together with numerous pamphlets and 
circulars engendering sectional strife. 

This epistle had been received just before Christmas and, 
on the night of December 24th, I sat down and made reply. 
"Nearly two thousand years ago, this blessed night," I wrote, 
"the Prince of Peace was born, the Star of Bethlehem began 
to spread its effulgence, hate gave place to love, a new era 
began. Across the sky was blazoned, 'Peace on earth, good 
will to men/ Then, in the lives of saints and martyrs, there 
came a conviction that, though we speak 'with the tongues of 
men and angels and have not love, we are nothing worth/ 
But we must go further than love, we must forgive. Tor I 
say unto you, forgive your enemies, love them that hate you 
and despitefully use you.' 

"How far from the Prince of Peace, my dear lady, are the 
sentiments contained in the pamphlets which you kindly sent 
me. I quote a few lines. 'So Mr. Lincoln stands in history 
as one who did more evil than any man known to the world.' 
Again, 'Lincoln was a tricky politician, a vulgar, dirty talker. 
He conducted this war as a barbarian, he was low-minded, of 



RECONCILIATION 353 

unclean life, an unbeliever in God.' In the light of these bit- 
ter words, and of many recent occurrences, North and Sooth, 
I maintain that, from a Christian point of view, the Grand 
Army of the Republic should disband, and so should the 
United Daughters of the Confederacy. They have outlived 
their usefulness. And if ethically they are hurtful, how much 
more so industrially. How greatly are they retarding South- 
ern progress! 

"No, dear Miss Smith, a descendant of King Carter, a kins- 
woman of Robert E. Lee, for such I assume you to be, has 
no place in the camp of Calhoun and Jefferson Davis. Her 
place is with her Whig and Union ancestors. Pardon this 
letter. It is Christmas Eve in the adjoining room I hear lit- 
tle children. They are singing, While Shepherds Watch/ 
Believe me to be yours faithfully." 

Now in depicting these wild, impossible, Quixotic contests 
of mine I have often quoted Holy Writ, and yet I was not 
consciously supported by any Higher Power. In theory I 
may be religious, but not in practice. That God exists I am 
quite sure, but I have no realizing sense of His presence. God 
is distant prayer gives little comfort. Yet at the end of a 
long life I trust the Messiah will come. He who was an- 
nounced by the shepherds and who is to inaugurate a new 
history in the epoch of humanity must appear. Hope maketh 
not ashamed. "In our modern Babylon and in the huts of 
our mountains are too many souls that mysteriously sing the 
hymn of the great vigil, Rorate, coeli, desuper, et mibes 
pluant Justum: 'Heavens, drop down your dew, and let the 
clouds rain down the Just.' " 

Despite this faith, my religion is intuitive, and somewhat as 
that of my boyhood chum, Brown's. "Judge," I once said 
to that great legal mind, "how do you reason out your reli- 
gion?" "I don't," he answered. "I sucked it in with my 
mother's milk." 

Sometimes, as I hear a group of simple-minded, Christian 



354 RECONCILIATION 

negroes croon and chant the comforting words, 'Steal Away 
to Jesus' or 'Down by the Riverside,' my eyes grow dim. I 
may even be able to follow Newman and say that were I to 
look out upon the orderly world and not see God I would be 
as much puzzled as if I were to look into the mirror and not 
see my own image. But further than this I cannot go. My 
faith is not vital not buoyant. 

In the extreme moment I am sure I will be unable to ex- 
claim with Browning, 

I would hate that death bandaged my eyes and f orebore, 
And bade me creep past. 

Nor, as I depart hence, will I lift heavenward rny hands, as 
did St. Francis, and call aloud, "Welcome, Sister Death!" to 
the song of the larks gathered to waft him above. And yet 
my very failures may have stimulated me and, 

What I aspired to be 
And was not comforts me. 

Undoubtedly, I have expected too much. Perfection is 
not for mortals. No one but a foolin the eyes of the world 
has ever yet gone in quest of the Holy Grail. When St. 
Francis approached Innocent III he claimed no privilege of 
any sort but only that the Pope would approve of his under- 
taking to lead a life of absolute conformity to the precepts 
of the Gospel. But St. Francis was a fool! 

It was a pious Spanish professor of Greek, Unamuno, who 
made the obvious discovery that the very best fleshly mani- 
festation of the Christ is the Knight of La Mancha Don 
Quixote, the fool, a laughing stock to millions. 

When Jean-Christophe was nearing his journey's end, as 
Romain Rolland beautifully sings, he lay bound in a sort of 
overwhelming beatitude. Souls that had met him on the way, 
brothers who for a moment had held out their hands to him, 



RECONCILIATION 355 

mysterious spirits sprang from the mind: these surrounded 
and watched over him. He heard the music of their voice. 
"Blessed be destiny that has given you to me," he exclaimed. 
"I am rich, I am rich. My heart is full." 

Then, the saint's brain dying said to itself, "Lord, art thou 
not displeased with thy servant? I have done so little. I 
could do no more. I have struggled, I have suffered, I have 
erred, I have created. Let me draw breath in 'Thy Father's 
arms.' Some day I shall be bom again for a new fight." 

And as this saintly one, weary with labor, reached the 
other shore, he said to the Child, frail and heavy upon his 
shoulder, "Child, who art thou?" And the Child answered, 
"I am the day soon to be born." 

Returning from this rather intimate picture of my excur- 
sion into the realm of the mystical I now proceed to record 
that one phase of life, since quitting business and putting an 
end to money-getting, had given me real satisfaction. I had 
not cherished a single regret; I had looked straight ahead. 
Not backward but forward. When Lot's wife gazed over 
her shoulder and sighed for the fleshpots, she was very prop- 
erly changed into a pillar of salt. I was in no danger of that. 
Though I might have recalled flush days when money was 
flowing my way, I had no desire to do so. 

There had been a time when a mere word to my partner 
in New York brought a million dollars, which purchased 
bonds at par, and saved the state's credit and avoided a special 
session of the legislature, already called by the Governor. 
But my thoughts were not now turned in the direction of 
business; other matters engrossed me. I was as dissociated 
from my former self as if I had passed through the trans- 
migratory process of Pythagoras. Though I had not re- 
formed the world I had reformed myself. I was a new per- 
son. Not manifested by joining some strange and popular 
cultnot in that ostentatious way. In quietness and in con- 
fidence, I had found strength. 



356 RECONCILIATION 

Several years had been required to make the change, the 
process having been gradual as all nature processes are. First 
the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. If I 
were called upon to describe the transformation I might fail 
in the attempt. Undoubtedly, the personal equation counted 
I myself, I the individual, was a prime factor. To grow, to 
become liberal, one must possess an open mind. He must be 
apperceptive. Nor do I know of anything more conducive 
to breadth of vision and tolerance of other people's opinions 
than a study of such subjects as astronomy and philosophy. 

Out under the starry heavens, when I looked up and re- 
flected that Arcturus, so steady and assuring, was once the 
friend of the patriarch Job and had been gazed at in wonder- 
ment by millions long before Job's day, when I considered 
too that space is everywhere, and time unending, I became 
an humbled man and asked myself, "Why worry?" After 
I had completed the course in philosophy I was astounded 
or rather, I laughed! I concluded that the master minds, from 
Anaximander to Lotze, knew just as much (and no more) 
about life and death, about the beginning and the ending of 
things, as the babe in Its mother's womb or the fish swimming 
in the ocean. In the presence of life's mysteries, an Einstein 
is no wiser than an addled-pated Barnaby Rudge! 

Brooks Adams, in Degradation of the Democratic Dogma, 
concludes that the downward course of democracy began 
when evolution was accepted as the sole explanation of man's 
development from the lowliest origin. "Why bother about 
family pride or rectitude of conduct, if one's grandfather was 
a brute?" And yet, according to Adams, evolution is still 
an unproved hypothesis. The missing link, so eagerly sought 
after and so confidently expected these fifty years, has not 
only not been found but is further away than when Darwin 
disturbed the world with his theory. For, as Adams asserts, 
the child-foetus and the lemur-foetus (the 'possum) disclose 
a closer resemblance than that existing between the unborn 



RECONCILIATION 357 

child and the orang-outang. And so the humble 'possum may 
yet put the Darwinian theory of man's development out of 
business! 

No doubt another thought aided in my re-education. I had 
come to realize that wholeness is the object and end of our 
created being. "Unit and universe are one," says Emerson. 
I myself am a part of all that was or is or will ever be. Nor 
is God less necessary to me than I am to God. An irresistible 
force binds us together call it what we may, God or gravity. 

So that . 

If sun or moon should doubt, 

They'd immediately go out. 

Since my venture into the altruistic field, I was beginning 
to understand something of the poetical principle, heretofore 
quite hid from my vision. The Oxford Lectures on Poetry, 
by A. C. Bradley, intrigued me. Shelley's impassioned De- 
fence of Poetry haunted my thoughts. Taine's History of 
English Literature -, I found the most stimulating work in my 
field of studies. I was not surprised when I read that one, in 
a proper frame of mind, may become intoxicated on a beef- 
steak! I understood why Shelley swooned with terror when 
he first heard a certain magnificent and dreadful passage of 
Christabel recited, and Pope burst into tears when he reached 
that passage in the Iliad. 

Indeed I did not wonder that my poetical and appercep- 
tive-minded friend, Tom Kirkland, down in South Carolina, 
was unable to bear the strain of reading more than one play 
of Shakespeare a year. A person must not presume too much 
on his powers of endurance. There is such a thing as an ex- 
cess of emotion. Sometimes, with Coleridge's Notes on 
Shakespeare lying open before me, I would turn over the 
pages and dream away the hours. As Coleridge interprets 
Hamlet he was prospective, a man of ideas, and therefore 
despised Polonius, a man of maxims, living in the past and, 



358 RECONCILIATION 

like a Cyclops, having but one eye and that one placed in the 
back of his head. Again, says Coleridge, Hamlet is brave, 
sapient, no fool, yet hesitates because he reflects and has a 
world within himself. "There must be the coincidence of 
internal and external action to produce happiness." 

In The Tempest, as Coleridge discovers, Shakespeare sports 
good-naturedly with the mob, as with an irrational animal 
never angry with it, but hugely content with holding up its 
absurdities to its face. 

During leisure moments, I often had thoughts of my phi- 
losophy professor, and always with a sense of gratitude. He 
it was who had put me on to the dialectic process he had 
taught me how to think. And yet I saw, more clearly than 
ever, the mistakes he had made. He was not apperceptive, 
not open-minded. His mind had acted and reacted with one 
thought till it had ground itself for lack of other material. 
"There is always something illiberal," says Burke, "on the 
severer aspects of study until balanced by the influence of 
social amenities." And this was Williams' sore spothe had 
not only neglected but despised the practical bearings of 
logic. 

Since leaving Williams' classes, I had striven to supply the 
deficiency of his methods. I went over into the domain of 
the pragmatists those practical fellows who say, "Try it out 
and see if it will work." I read with interest William James, 
and learned something of his "bread-and-butter" philosophy. 
Aristotle, the first genuine experimenter, was as interesting to 
me as Plato. Though I could shed tears at the martyrdom of 
a Bruno, I also stood in awe before a Newman, moving under 
the authority of God. In my opinion James is a necessary 
corrective to Royce and Whitehead. 

At this time, I made the acquaintance of William Mc- 
Dougall of Duke University and was stimulated by his whole- 
some view of life and a happy blending of the practical and 
the ideal. His experiments in psychology seem to me as 



RECONCILIATION 359 

necessary as the theories of the idealist. The Doctor and his 
delightful companion and I often dined together at the Caro- 
lina Inn, at Chapel HilL 

The realists had become as interesting as their critics. 
Madame Bovary I considered in a class with The Abbot or 
The Return of the Native. Butler's masterpiece, The Way 
of All Flesh ? is undoubtedly one of the great novels of the 
last hundred years. Nor did I shun the Saucy Stories of Bal- 
zac, nor Hardy's Tess, nor the modern dramatists. Ibsen is 
a not unworthy follower of Shakespeare. Shaw and Barrie 
and Synge are masters. I read the writings of Rousseau. 
Voltaire attracted me because of his style, though I condemn 
some of his methods of attack. They are harmful and devil- 
ish. 

We are in the world, we are of the world, and we cannot 
get out of the world, alive. There is nowhere else we can 
go. We cannot step up to the clerk's desk and say, "See 
here! Check me out, I am looking for better quarters/' 
There are no other quarters it's Mother Earth or nothing. 
Therefore why not make the most of it, why not play the 
game according to the rules? If someone has discovered a 
whim or a fancy that amuses and solaces, shall we not thank 
him rather than curse him? 

Perhaps it may be of interest to novices in things literary 
to set down a few of the books which have aided me in learn- 
ing to write, and it must not be forgotten that I was sixty- 
five before I really put pen to paper. First of all then I rec- 
ommend as a foundation something on which to build- 
Everett's Science of Thought. The Professor is an apostle of 
the dialectic-an idealist, a follower of Hegel After acquir- 
ing a knowledge of the dialectic process a writer should seek 
to build up elegance of style. Though the style is the man, 
it may be improved. I suggest as a means to this end, Wen- 
dell's English Composition. This fascinating little treatise 



360 RECONCILIATION 

will no doubt stir the reader to go back and acquaint himself 
with the incomparable Aristotle. 

The novice must understand that practice is indispensable. 
One must write a million words, and throw them in the 
waste-basket, before he breaks into print. His motto should 
be, Nulla dies sine linea"Let no day pass without its written 
record." But he will often encounter writings which are so 
difficult that he cannot get at their meaning. I therefore 
recommend as a guide, Hearn's Interpretations of Literature. 
This work, as I have heretofore indicated, is very simple, but 
is stimulating. Lastly I suggest to the novice that he keep 
upon his desk Taine's English Literature and Greene's Short 
History of the English People. The former unfolds, in the 
most attractive manner, the story of literature, the latter 
makes clear the growth and development of the English 
people. 

Not the least of the benefits which came to me from my 
new experiences was a changed attitude towards my fellows, 
and though I have spoken of this I will give an example. 
About this time Josephus Daniels, no longer baiting the 
Negro, but whose Leftist notions of government had recently 
agitated me, came to Chapel Hill and addressed the students. 
I heard him with pleasure though I feared he was encourag- 
ing a nigh cut, and a dangerous one, back to temporary pros- 
perity: in a blind loyalty to liberalism and in an enthusiasm 
to end the depression he was willing to junk the whole con- 
cept of private enterprise and political liberty. After his 
speech, he and I sat and talked of old days, when we were 
boys together. He said he disliked no man. He liked folks 
and wished well to all people. The tyranny of certain cor- 
porations had angered him and he had fought them. He then 
told me this story. "When I was a youngster," he related, 
"I published a village paper at Wilson, N. G, and at once 
started my fight against selfishness and greed in high places. 
Pretty soon General Ransom came over and spoke. I re- 



RECONCILIATION 361 

ported his speech, and Interviewed him. Said he to me, 
'Daniels, my son, I see you are antagonizing the leading men 
of your town. Don't do it! I tried that once, it doesn't pay/ 
'Thank you, General/ I replied, 'but that is the pattern of my 
life and I cannot change it.' " 

This interview profoundly moved me. I felt that my old 
friend was also beginning to see the light and might possibly 
translate blind, partisan zeal into useful channels. And in this 
event, I knew, he would cease to obstruct Southern progress, 
Who knows indeed but, some day, he and I may stand, shoul- 
der to shoulder, upon a platform of equal justice to every 
man of whatever color, creed or condition be he rich or be 
he poor? 



CHAPTER XXVIII 
OVERHEAD, THE STARS 

ONCE again came April days with birds and flowers to 
find me back in my old quarters in the village of Chapel Hill. 
A dozen years had come and gone since I closed my office 
doors and set out upon a wild goose chase, first to find happi- 
ness in a life of leisure and idleness and, failing in this, to re- 
form the world. The collapse of my three brothers, in their 
efforts to change Southern thought and customs, had not 
deterred me. 

Blithely, I had gone forward attacking the windmills of 
prejudice, sectionalism, and racial bitterness. Don Quixote 
himself not more dead-in-earnest! And again I asked what 
had I accomplished, what did any reformer ever reform? 
What change in the current of civilization has any one indi- 
vidual been able to cut? Was not Brother George correct 
in saying that collectively the human family is everything; 
the individual, nothing? The exploits of a Caesar or a Na- 
poleon, how they flatter our vanity! And yet these worthies 
merely registered the progress of civilization, they were but 
hands on the clock of time. Had there never been a Crom- 
well, or a Washington, what difference would it have made? 

It was Pascal who propounded the query, "What would 
have happened to the world had Cleopatra's nose been a little 
shorter?" "Nothing," answers John Buchan, "as Egypt was 
the granary of the world and the object of Roman conquest." 

The fiercest and most relentless animals are human beings. 
Other creatures employ the time laying up food for the bar- 
ren winter season, man busies himself inventing gases and 
guns with which to make his fellows bite the dust. There is 

362 



OVERHEAD THE STARS 363 

a story that, once upon a time, the beasts and birds engaged 
in a warfare for supremacy, but that conflict took place k 
the distant past. 

On the contrary, mankind seems to have become more sav- 
age, especially those who are of the Saxon race. Our an- 
cestors were pirates, cold-blooded, with fierce blue eyes; were 
carnivorous, war-like, the aim of whose lives was not to be 
slain in battle; were seafarers, whose idea of a freeman's work 
was warfare and pillage; were cruelly ferocious adventurers 
who had never lived under the smoky rafter of a roof, who 
had never drained the ale horn by an inhabited hearth, and 
whose prisoners were maimed, blinded, ham-strung, scalped, 
disemboweled. Such people preferred poverty and death in 
battle to plenty in peace. 

And such, as Taine relates, were the progenitors of the 
English-speaking people, and therefore of the pure-blooded, 
undefiled, Anglo-Saxon Southerners despising the pacificator 
and the conciliator. Once I was preparing a paper lauding 
an old Southern Whig who had toiled to avert civil war and 
make a prosperous, happy South, when I received a letter 
from the grand-daughter of just such a Unionist. This un- 
usually fine woman proud of her kinsman implored me not 
to say one unkind word about the President of the Confed- 
eracy, and this she did though she knew her grandfather had 
disliked and thoroughly discredited him. 

The average man and woman, indeed, seemed not to under- 
stand what I was driving at. Though I would explain myself 
and insist there was method in my madness, I could not put 
the idea across. "I am not concerned with the past, simply 
as the past," I would urge, "but with the past as it beclouds 
the present and darkens the future. Unless the South dis- 
covers her deadly mistakes and corrects them, can she ever 
thrive?" Sometimes I would ask, "Shall we be likened unto 
the foolish man which built his house upon the sand? " But 
these thoughts I found it almost impossible to impart. 



364 OVERHEAD THE STARS 

My efforts to break our fetters, substitute a garland for 
ashes, bring about prosperity, good will and Christian fel- 
lowship, seemed to fall on stony ground. Men and women- 
mere mortals! went right along misunderstanding me. To 
tell the truth I was in the predicament of Immanuel Kant or 
was it Hegel? "Alas," groaned the great philosopher, "when 
I die my philosophy will die with me. Only one man ever 
understood me and he misunderstood me!" 

Strange, and passing strange, neither time nor the teachings 
of the Prince of Peace have softened the memories of our 
hospitable, warm-hearted, impulsive people. The Master's 
injunction, "Love one another," they repeat they may be 
able to quote, word for word, the exquisite thirteenth chapter 
of Corinthians, but the thought remains as the snow that falls 
in the river. This situation was depressing. I really feared 
there was no lining to the clouds. No balm in Gilead. 

Somewhere in the writings of Schopenhauer I had read that 
the happiest moment of a happy man is the moment he falls 
asleep. I had even heard it intimated that if someone were 
to knock on the graves and ask the dead if they would rise 
again they would shake their heads. Calderon, indeed, de- 
clares that the greatest curse of man is that he was born, and 
Lamb bitterly insists that certain people are so hateful that 
they ought to be hated! But these ugly suggestions I refused 
to heed. I would have none of them. God must not be shut 
out of the picture. 

Our time is in His hand 

Who saith, "A whole I planned, 
Youth shows but half; trust God; see all, nor be afraid." 

Dogmatism self-confidence must not be my undoing. 
"Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." 
Back to the teachings of my liberal-minded, boyhood friends 
I must go: back to Aycock, Connor and Page. The Issues 



OVERHEAD THE STARS 365 

loomed too large for any one individual to solve. Why, 
indeed, may I not have been wrong? 

Ten men love what I hate 

Shun what I follow, slight what I receive; 
Ten, who in ears and eyes 

Match me: We all surmise, 
They this thing, and I that: 

Whom shall my soul believe? 

Let the Master answer and dispel the doubt: "Not every- 
one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the 
Kingdom of Heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father 
which is in Heaven." Once again, therefore, I resolved t 
lay aside books, cease to be a fool of reason, mingle with my 
fellows, become a student of nature. Loafing around in the 
barber shops, in the drug stores, in the garages, where the 
village wits gathered and swapped homely stories, was satis- 
fying. 

The Christmas season I spent with my sole-surviving 
Brother down at Windsor, and Lucy Stone, our faithful old 
slave, now tottering with years, was sent for and came over 
and called me, "little Marse Robert." And when I bade her 
farewell, standing in the nursery rich in memories of other 
days, she caught me in her trembling arms and I was once 
again her loving little "child." 

Philosophy and recitation rooms I had now given a wide 
berth. I delivered no more learned lectures, wrote no more 
theses. On the contrary I began to act more and to think 
less. I visited the homes of old Chapel Hill friends and talked 
of other times and other days. Occasionally I talked to the 
negro janitors and servants a roomful of them and was 
stimulated at the sight of their black, earnest, up-turned faces, 
and by the sound of fervent "Amens!" and "Bless the Lords!" 
as I encouraged them and assured them that no race had ever 



366 OVERHEAD THE STARS 

developed more rapidly than they, since they were landed 
in America. 

It soothed me to wander through the arboretum with 
Coker, head of the Botany Department and hear him tell of 
the green things he had planted and nourished, to climb the 
hills of Battle Park with Branson, Rural Economy expert, and 
discuss the problems of life; to sit at the hospitable table of 
the beloved college president, Frank Graham, prince of 
liberals, and discuss good neighborliness and genuine co- 
operation between labor and capital. 

Contact with those I had once given a helping hand was 
sweet, enabling me to understand what the Scotch lassie, 
Jeanie Deans, meant when she pleaded with Queen Caroline 
for the life of her sister and said to her Leddyship, that when 
we come to dee it wouldna be what we hae dune for oursells, 
but for others, we would think on maist pleasantly. One 
day I went into a well-equipped dental office, and, as I quit 
the chair, asked for my bUL "Nothing, Judge," was the 
grateful reply. "Not one copper cent! It was you who let 
Father have the means to enable me to become what I am 
today." 

So, again, as I was walking down the street, a man 
approached and asked if I remembered him. I did not. 
"Why, sir," said he, "you once changed the whole course 
of my life. Yes, I went into your office, mad as mad could 
be, and had a $100 bill for you to bring a lawsuit against 
my neighbor about a line fence. You looked at me with pity 
and said, *My friend, what is that fence worth?' 'About two 
dollars/ I replied. 'Well, now, put up your money. Don't 
go to law for two dollars. Go home and forget it.' And, 
sir, I left you wondering what kind of a fellow you were 
anyhow! Maybe it wasn't so much the advice as the refus- 
ing of my money that amazed me!" 

Of an evening, I would often go down to the Graham 
Memorial and take a seat on the steps and chat with my old 



OVERHEAD THE STARS 367 

colored friend, Bill McDade the very happiest person I ever 
knew, the one man who had nothing, and yet had everything. 

"Bill," said I once, "did you ever vote?" 

"Me vote? Naw, sir. What I want to vote for?" 

"Well, I merely asked." 

"Lor, boss," Bill laughed, "we niggers don't know nothin' 
'bout politics. Dat's you white foikses' job." 

Bill's knowledge of the old students, from Aycock and 
Alderman down through fifty graduating classes of gover- 
nors, and senators and congressmen and judges and business 
men, was perfect. Once Bill went over to Charlottesville, 
Virginia, to visit his friend President Alderman. "En," said 
Bill, as his face lighted up, "Mr. Ed, he showed me all over 
dat campus en through his pretty house, he did. En man 
alive! you just ought to seen de dinner he gimmehog jowl 
en turnip salad en a great big pound-cake! Hooppee!" 

One day a letter came from one of our old slaves a 
preacher down at Norfolk, and now more than eighty years 
old. Joseph Mitchell was his name. He began by thanking 
me for addressing him in a former communication as "Dear 
Old Comrade" words which brought vividly before his 
mind's eye, he wrote, "your grandfather, my master, and his 
love for his slaves." "I remember," he added, "that my 
mistress learned my mother's three children our letters on the 
screen that sit before the fireplace in the summer of 1862, 
and Marster, your grandfather, would pass by and say to our 
Mistiss, 'Learn them how to read so that they can read the 
Bible, but don't learn them how to write.' And do you 
know that I really feel that the learning, or the War time 
education, that my Mistiss gave me, has had to do with the 
whole course of my life. And I know that God has blessed 
me in my studies." 

For a long time I had cherished the dream of visiting 
Springfield, our refugee home. And finally the opportunity 
presented itself, and the trip was planned. I ran down to 



368 OVERHEAD THE STARS 

Windsor, and spent the night with Brother Frank, at the 
Castle. And, next morning, bright and early, Sister and her 
son and Brother and I started out in search of our old war- 
time home. It was a lovely day as we sped along over hard- 
surface roads, through the counties of Bertie and Martin and 
Edgecoinbe and Nash and Franklin. Along the way, we 
stopped at the home of our much-beloved cousin, Anne 
Malone, daughter of Uncle Fuller. The residence is in Louis- 
burg and is the very first place I remember to have seen. 

"Cousin Anne," I said, "where is the great big hobby horse, 
with eyes in his head, and a real mane and tail, I used to ride?" 

"Well, I do say, Robert! And so you remember the hobby 
horse?" 

"Why, of course," I replied. "And the stained glass win- 
dows in the front hall and the paintings in the parlor." 

And on we talked, of things that had happened full seventy 
years before, my brother well remembering her brother 
Edwin, the youthful poet of the family, author of The Angel 
m the Cloud, once reviewed by me for the Library of South- 
ern Literature. 

About noon, as we crossed the Tar River at Semmes' 
Bridge, "Stop," said Brother Frank to Hubert, the chauffeur. 
"Right down there," and he pointed to the rapidly flowing 
stream, "Brother George came within an ace of drowning. 
Yes, one day in the summer of 1866, he was swimming and 
sinking for the third time, when George Maverick of Texas, 
then visiting us, dived and saved him." 

In a few moments we were passing by the brook which 
Brother and I, and our little slave-playmates, Stewart and 
Lundsay, were damming up, on a summer's afternoon in 1866, 
I think, when the total eclipse of the sun came, and frightened 
us out of our wits and we scampered home for dear life, to 
find the chickens all gone to roost. Presently we entered 
the lane through which Sherman's troops had marched, that 
April day, leaving behind dead horses and cattle and, here 



OVERHEAD THE STARS 369 

and there, canteens filled with water, and paper boxes with 
hardtack-crackers which we ate. 

"Now/' said Brother, just before we reached the Great 
House, sitting away back in a grove of giant oaks. "Now, 
Bob, let's draw a diagram of the old place and see which one 
has the best memory.' 7 And we took out pencils and en- 
velopes and set down our recollections of seventy years 
before: the big gate, in the worm fence, five hundred yards 
from the dwelling; the two little gates opening into the yard; 
the old moss-covered well: the stile on which Lundsay and 
I were seated that day in '65, when the Union troops came 
upon us; the circle in the front yard, which we had planned 
and beautified with shrubs and flowers; the mimosa tree in 
the center of the circle; the kitchen, one hundred honest feet 
from the dwelling; the garden, rich with vegetables; the 
smoke-house and the scuppernong grapevine; the rock slave- 
quarters, on the edge of the yard; and, further back over 
the hillside, the stables, and the twenty-acre grove of massive 
oaks and hickories; the spring where Sue and I lost the silver 
cup, "which the cow swallowed": all, all this, came back to us. 

But Father and Mother and our elder brothers and Miss 
Lennie, our housekeeper, and Andrew and Washington and 
Lucy and Charlotte, and Aunt Harriet, and the other slaves- 
one hundred of themthese were not. After a while we 
entered the old home, owned by negroes now, who invited 
us in and gave us complete possession. Brother Frank pointed 
out to Sister the small room in which she was born on Sep- 
tember 24, 1865 and which she had not seen since she was 
two years old. 

"And just here/* said Brother, as we stood in the west 
window of the living room, "General Frank Blair, command- 
ing the Union army, was seated when a terrific blast was 
heard. Starting up, the General exclaimed, Why, Mr. Win- 
ston, what on earth is that?' Father explained that the Con- 
federate authorities had used the plantation as a place to 



370 OVERHEAD THE STARS 

deposit ammunition; doubtless some of the troops had fired 
the explosives." 

The fancy possessed us to have lunch in the precious old 
dining room on the ground floor. In a moment Sister im- 
provised a table of boxes. The negroes brought down chairs 
and stools and Brother asked the familiar blessing, which 
Father had so often invoked, standing at that very spot. In 
every way we reproduced the scenes of our childhood, as 
with swelling hearts we talked of the old days. 

In the late afternoon, we were loitering in the front yard, 
loath to leave, looking about for some shrub or plant or 
flower to take away as a memorial and, if possible, to trans- 
plant, when a venerable negro entered the gate a very black 
man he was, but neat and well dressed. Evidently, he was 
coming to speak to us. As he drew near, Brother's counte- 
nance lit up with excitement, his eyes sparkled; he moved 
forward to meet the man. 

"Isn't that Tom Perry?" he asked. 

"Yes, Marse Frank, this sure nuf is Tom Perry, your old 
playmate." 

And then into each other's arms, the white man and the 
black man the master and the slave rushed, as Sister and I 
turned away, overcome with emotion. 

"Well," said I, while we were speeding on the way to Sis- 
ter's home, "we have had a wonderful time, but let's not call 
it a day until we have stopped by and read Uncle John's 
will." 

"What's the idea?" queried Sister. 

"Why, Uncle John left us three slaves," said I. 

"And you are looking for them, are you?" ' 

"Well, hardly. But, you see, Brother Frank and I have 
a double distinction; we were not only the first students to 
enter the University after the war, but dogged if I don't 
believe we are the two oldest slave-owners on earth!" 

And sure enough, in the courthouse at Louisburg, we 



OVERHEAD THE STARS 371 

found our uncle's will, one clause of which confirmed my 
recollection, "To the children of my brother Patrick," the 
will reads, "I give, devise, and bequeath my slaves, Joshua, 
Rilla and her increase." 

"Didn't I tell you so?" I boasted. 

"And how many slaves did that give you?" laughed Sister. 

"Well, let's see now. As you were not yet born, we'll 
count you out, so we four boys got all of three slaves, and as 
four of us owned three slaves, or twelve-fourths of the whole, 
each of us owned three-fourths of one slave! That's plain, 
isn't it?" 

Since the death of Mother, Sister had become the head of 
our clan and the custodian of family records, heirlooms, and 
hereditaments. And we made ample use of her collection. 
We ransacked the house, we examined bric-a-brac, photo- 
graphs, letters, and old newspapers silent reminders of our 
childhood and of Windsor Castle, down by the riverside. 
Though we had no copies of the Albemarle Times, which 
Brother Pat had edited in the 'yo's, Sister did have a complete 
file of Winstoris Weekly, published by him at Spokane. And, 
as Brother Frank opened up the papers and read aloud the 
longings of our exiled Brother for the dear South and his old 
Windsor home, we choked back the tears. 

EXILE 

"There is no sorrow like that of exile," he had written, 
a while before he died. "To live and to know that your eyes 
will nevermore behold the land of your birth, to have ever 
present in your heart the memory of the home of your child- 
hood, the friends of your youth, and the companions of early 
manhood, and to know that never again will you behold 
them: If there be sorrow on earth, it is this. 

"Well did Danton exclaim, when warned to fly from 
France; 'Can a man carry away his country on the soles of 
his shoes?' 



372 OVERHEAD THE STARS 

"Truly does the Good Book say: Weep ye not for tHe 
dead, neither bemourn him; but weep sore for him that goeth 
away; for he shall return no more nor see his native coun- 
try.' " 

And later he wrote: 

IT'S A FAR CRY 

"It never seems so far from here to Albemarle Sound as 
when the frogs begin to croak and the shad begin to run. 

"This week the fishermen will dip their seines. There is 
nothing to equal a spring morning on a North Carolina fish- 
ing beach. It begins with a mint julep and ends the same 
way, with a North Carolina breakfast of shad roe, broiled 
shad, egg bread, batter cakes, boiled eggs and coffee, in 
between. There is a breakfast for an honest man, let us tell 
you. 

"It's a fine sight to see the 'seine' landed, at Capehart's 
fishery, to see fifteen hundred shad, forty thousand herring, 
five hundred rock and a dozen sturgeon fluttering on the 
beach. 

"About the best dish, in this world, is roasted perch. The 
last the writer ate was at Capehart's fishery, in company with 
Governor Vance and a party of gentlemen. That was a long 
time ago. It makes one sick at the heart to think of the old 
days. It's a far cry from here to Avoca or Terrapin Point." 

Early next morning our family-gathering came to an end, 
and we dispersed, Brother going down to Windsor and I 
setting out for Chapel Hill. 

The sun was far in the west, that lazy afternoon in August, 
when I ascended the long, winding hill, up the old Stage 
Road, and entered the campus at the eastern gate. "You may 
let me out here," said I to my chauffeur. Then alone I 
walked, amidst dear familiar haunts: through the arboretum, 















AVOCA 







WINDSOR CASTLE 
"IT'S A FAR CRY" 



OVERHEAD THE STARS 373 

along the President's walk, under the grateful trees, between 
the Davie Poplar 'and the abandoned spring the exact spot 
where the Fathers sat, before the United States came into 
being, and sipped applejack and founded our University. 
To my left was the historic old well. Just in front, the 
South Building,- in which I had lived, a callow youth, sixty 
odd years before. 

Filled with memories of childhood and of old plantation 
days I passed into the Memorial Building and dropped down 
upon a comfortable sofa. Just then my eyes fell upon Wil- 
liam, my colored friend, mumbling, crooning, lovingly dust- 
ing the portraits of University presidents. I motioned the 
faithful "negro to my side. 

"Bill," said I, "you remember Ben Hester, don't you?" 

"Does you mean "that colored fellow what onst cooked 
for Mr. George Winston?" 

"Yes, the same bQy." 

"Course I 'members Ben. Why, bless Gawd, one com- 
mencement-time Ben he got on a tear en the cops tuck. em, 
en Dr. Winston he lost his cook! En his house plum 
full of company at dat!" And Bill shook with laughter. 

"Well, Bill, poor Ben is dead! Yes, died a few days ago. 
And here's a letter from Lucy his wife. She thanks me for a 
small check and then says this, 'Yes, Mr. Winston, you is 
right, Bennie was one good man at heart and he's right over 
there on tother side the River just awaitin' for us all.' " 

"Well, fo' Gawd!" Bill moaned. "En who woulda tho't 
hit. So Ben, he's dead en gone!" 

"Yes, he's crossed over the River. And, Bill? Over there, 
do you reckon white folks and black f olks'll eat at the same 
table and sleep in the same bed?" 

Bill shook his woolly head and was perplexed. And so 
was I. But why should I doubt? Though the things I had 
seen I could now see no more, had a glory passed away from 
the earth? Was the Lord's hand shortened, was his ear heavy? 



374 OVERHEAD THE STARS 

Is the world unequal to itself? No! A thousand times no! 
And now the long summer's day has drawn to evening, 
evening serene and joyous as the dawn. Overhead the stars 
have come out the steadfast stars, neither fretting nor fuming 
nor reforming one another. 



FINIS 



SOME NOTES TO CHAPTER XXVI 

MIGRATION AND COLONIZATION 

Without doubt both North and South scout the thought of 
migration or colonization. Why is this? Is it that the South 
would hold to the Negro as laborer and serf, without man- 
hood rights, and the North either does not wish him in their 
midst or else would try out a pseudo-philanthropic racial ex- 
periment at the expense of the South? However this may be, 
the reaction of pure-blooded negroes to my ideas is interest- 
ing. A negro teacher in Charleston wrote and said just as 
soon as his race understood that the United States was back- 
ing the colonization movement and would care for negroes 
as for the Filipinos they would tumble over each other to 
co-operate. A negro colonel from the Virgin Islands im- 
plored me to keep up the fight and so did a remarkable per- 
sonage, Rabbi Hanck Henck, who called himself a black Jew. 
The RabbFs book endorsed and incorporated my articles 
from Current History. 

From a reliable source I learned that Brazil would welcome 
5,000,000 desirable negroes on terms of perfect equality and 
race blending. Marcus Garvey wrote that despite the op- 
position of the United States and the Society for the Ad- 
vancement of the Colored People more than a million ne- 
groes had signed up, paid money and were ready, willing and 
anxious to take ship for Africa. (Race Relations, 549.) 
When Garvey spoke to the negroes of New York not a hall 
ki the city was big enough to hold the crowd. Negro Amer- 
icans states that Garvey's scheme failed. And so it did. But, 
as he claims, because the Society put him in the penitentiary, 
the Judge presiding at his trial being a Society member. The 

375 



376 NOTES 

Liberlan government, according to Garvey, was enthusiastic 
for the movement till our Government, at the insistence of 
the Society, interposed. 

Hitherto the treatment of the Negro by America has been 
superficial. Nor have racial organizations laid down any defi- 
nite program. Time, patience, and fair treatment is their only 
suggestion. But is this negative course a wise one? With the 
Historical Society at Raleigh may be found a number of let- 
ters which passed between me and Moorefield Story, presi- 
dent of a negro society. I endorsed the treatment of the 
Negro by our people, in the main, and then asked Mr. Story 
to pause and consider what his organization was trying to do. 
In many ways were they not seeking to coerce Southern peo- 
ple, as in abolition times? Were they not playing with fire? 
It will be recalled that Story, in his life of Sumner, advocated 
the Civil Rights Bill with its implications of absolute social 
equality. 

Mr. Story was indignant. "Your conduct is a disgrace," he 
wrote. "You a Judge sworn to obey the Constitution and 
yet violating it." So Story went his way with the best of 
intentions, but treating symptoms and not causes, I fear. I 
had suggested to Story a fatherland for the negroes and had 
pointed to Brazil, the Philippines and other islands, and like- 
wise Liberia, French Guinea and British Sierra Leone, three 
countries contiguous to each other, almost uninhabited, easy 
to acquire and extensive enough to care for all American 
negroes for a hundred years. I had also said to Mr. Story 
that a simple resolution by Congress, outlining a policy, 
would stop agitation and settle the issue. The resolution 
might read as follows, "The United States would welcome a 
fatherland for the Negro." The President would then ap- 
point a commission to co-operate with leading negroes and 
set on foot a great independent, ideal, Negro Republic, with 
a Negro president, a Negro congress, Negro judges, Negro 
sheriffs. And all this in one of the most favored spots on the 



NOTES 377 

globe, with unsurpassed natural advantages: climate, water 
power, great, tall mountains, mineral products, ocean front. 
(Vide, Report of Committee on Trade and Taxation for 
British West Africa. 1922. Cmd. 1600.) 

A parallel civilization seemed to me impossible two races 
cannot run along, parallel and equal One or the other will 
dominate, a view held by Professor Macmurray of London 
University, who has had much experience in South Africa. 
It must be understood that I disapprove of violence. What- 
ever is done should be voluntary. I do not concur in White 
America or in the Color Line. Moreover I claim no original- 
ity. President Lincoln was wedded to race separation, and 
Congress voted a large sum to further colonizationa scheme 
which failed in the fury of civil war. Nor do I insist that I 
must be right and others wrong. There are better men than 
I who advocate a parallel civilization. Nevertheless, I state 
facts and record conclusions, drawn from a life of nearly 
eighty years spent among negroes first being suckled by a 
negro woman and owning slaves, then playing with them, 
later, defending them, and in old age, respecting a race strug- 
gling upward against heavy odds. 

I might add that Negro emigration would relieve the South 
of the great burden of a double overhead; separate school 
buildings, separate accommodations for whites and blacks, 
separate teachers, in schools, colleges, and universities, sepa- 
rate hotels, boarding-houses, theaters, churches, buses, rail- 
road cars, and amusement parks. 

It was once urged that colonization was impossible be- 
cause, as Booker Washington had said, negro babies were 
being born faster than they could be hauled away! This wit- 
ticism was answered by the World War, when millions of 
soldiers, in a few months, crossed the ocean dodging sub- 
marines, hostile ships, and aircraft. This objection indeed 
seems almost as flimsy as the other that the oppressed Negro 



378 NOTES 

race would not gladly breathe a new land of freedom, pros- 
perity, and racial integrity. 

Let no one imagine I am fooling him or myself, I admit 
that the job is a stupendous one. Seventy years now the 
Negro has been free; it is late in the day to agitate his coloni- 
zation. But if the task is great so is the danger. Should not 
the remedy equal the emergency? One may hear Faint 
Heart as he says, "Pray leave the Negro alone!" Would that 
we might do this. Alas, the boot is on the other foot, the 
Negro will not let us alone. Slowly but surely the race issue 
is coming to a head. And no one knows the upshot. Must 
it be, as Wells declared to Booker Washington in 1906, servi- 
tude or amalgamation, adding that a parallel civilization is 
impossible and citing the slaughter of the Armenians by the 
Turks? God only knows. If Southern people realized that 
race blending was inevitable would they oppose Negro ex- 
odus, and if Northern people realized that their cities might 
soon be controlled by negroes, emigrating from the South, 
would they sit idly by, take no steps for the future and pursue 
a do-nothing policy? Laws N. C. 1891, p. 77; do., 1901, 
Ch. 9, enact heavy punishment on agents taking laborers- 
negroes out of the state. 

ISOLATION AND INTEGRATION 

James Weldon Johnson Negro Americans, p. 4 reduces 
the contingencies to two, isolation and integration. The 
Negro Year Book, for 1932, seems to welcome integration. 
Indeed, there is not one single international ethnologist who 
does not predict that eventually the blacks, if given full 
rights, will be absorbed by the whites. Some scientists assert 
that this condition will come about, and should come about, 
very soon. Others postpone the date to thousands of years. 
All are sure miscegenation will result provided the Negro is 
given a chance fully to develop. About 1926, when a social 
conference was held at Chapel Hill and the subject of Negro 



NOTES 379 

morons was discussed, a learned Hopkins expert on race mat- 
ters presided. Said he, "If you are going to investigate black 
-morons you must be in a hurry, as there will soon be no full- 
blooded Africans in America." Along the same line other 
experts have spoken, Boas of Columbia, Conldin of Yale, 
Ratzel, and the Governors General of Jamaica and South 
Africa. Weatherford does not agree as to the time of racial 
mixing. , He thinks it is further away. 

That intimate social relations between whites and blacks- 
mixed schools, mixed hotels, and the like will hasten race 
blending is shown by a great increase of mulattos in the cities 
of the West and North, far exceeding that of the South. 
(Negro Americans, p. 451.) A concise statement of modern 
thought, on the necessity of amalgamation, may be seen in an 
article called "Colour Prejudice," Contemporary Review, 
vol. 124, page 448, October, 1923; vide other articles by Sir 
Sydney Olivier in the same magazine, vol. 134, page 455; voL 
131, page 144; and in the Nation, vol. 124, page 142. 

LOSS OF POPULATION FROM MIGBATION" 

"Between 1900 and 1930," according to H. W. Odum, 
"more than 3,400,000 of those bom in the Southeastern states 
have moved to states outside the region. What the estimated 
value of this human wealth would be depends upon the per 
capita estimate of capital wealth. At an appraisal of one-half 
the maximum used by economists the aggregate would ap- 
proach the present stupendous national debt." Southern 
Regions (1935), pp. 95; 31, 40, 463. In a word migration of 
whites in thirty years has cost the South $60,000,000,000. 
Odum also points out that it is usually the venturesome ones 
who go away, leaving behind those content to take their ease. 
It results that, in desirables, the South is under-populated but 
in undesirables it is over-populated. That is, there are far 
too many tenants, croppers, unskilled laborers and other 
ne'er-do-wells. 



380 NOTES 

The South has bred in and out, with no infusion of new 
blood. It is estimated that since 1900, 3,800,000 people have 
left the Southeast entirely and only 400,000 have come in 
from elsewhere, still leaving a loss of 3,400,000. (Southern 
Regions, p. 453.) In many Southern states the proportion of 
foreign boraz.e.,, bom out of the state to natives is less than 
one per cent. 

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES 

The eleven Southeastern states have a climate unexcelled 
and embrace 17% of the national area and 21% of the popu- 
lation. Yet, in material development, they lag. This region 
has only three of the one hundred great banking systems, with 
deposits of less than i J4%. Of an aggregate of 161 units in 
the 29 great concentrated areas of iron and steel it has only 5. 
There are 195 units of food concentration; this region has 28. 
Of the 30 great industrial areas none is in this region, and 
practically no great corporate body in finance and commerce. 
Only 3% of the milk-processing plants are here, with an 
annual shortage of milk amounting to 121,000,000 gallons. 
There is likewise a shortage of 20,000,000 bushels of field 
peas. The income and wages of the region are from 30% to 
50% below normal Forty-five per cent of the waste, or 
eroded land, is in this section and it is estimated that 20,000,- 
ooo tons of potash and nitrogen and phosphates are annually 
washed out of the soil. The profits of the farms are taken 
up in the purchase of live stock, food-stuff, milk, butter, 
cheese, and, specially, fertilizer. Five and a half million tons 
of fertilizer, costing $161,000,000, are purchased annually, 
whereas the balance of the nation uses but two and one-half 
million. Wealth per capita is about one-half the national 
average. And so on, through a category of lost and wasted 
opportunities. 

This condition exists despite many natural advantages: The 
Southeastern states embrace 40% of desirable farm lands, 



NOTES 381 

40% of commercial forests, 98% of yellow pine, 43% of 
hard wood, 20% of the fisheries, 20% of plant nurseries, 20% 
of the natural soft coal, 61% of marble, 10% of pig iron, and 
100% of soapstone. "Fuel and water power are of such re- 
gional excellence as exist in no other region of the country. 95 
This section (and the Southwest) furnish 65% of the na- 
tion's petroleum and 50% of the natural gas, likewise 98% 
of the natural phosphates, 99.9% of the sulphur, and 43% of 
borate. The water power of the Southeast develops 16,000,- 
ooo horsepower a total that equaled the national output in 
1930. In a word, though the region is far above the average 
in natural resources it is far less developed. Why this lag? 
Was the original cause slavery, followed by the free Negro 
and then by reconstruction and sectionalism, resulting in loss 
of desirable population? Current History, Nov., 1931, "The 
South in Transition," by Robert W. Winston. 




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